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Based  on  the  work  of 


College  de  France 


Assistant  Professorof  European  History 
University  of  Pennsylvania 

Volume  XVII 


The  H  .W.  Snow  and  Son  Company 

C  h  i   c   a   ^    o 

Copyright,  1907,  by 

CnPYRKJHT.    1910 





Associate  Editors  and  Authors 

Profcuor    of    AMyriology.     Oxford 

Uni-  Professor  of  Chinese,  King's  College,  Lon- 



AMOci*t«  Professor  of  Oriental  History  and 
Archaeology,  Johns  Hopkins  University 

C  W.  C.  OMAN.  LL.D.. 

Professor  of  History,  Oxford  University 


Professor  of   Political   Economy  and   Pol- 
itics, Cornell  University 


Instructor    in    the    History    of    Japanese 
Civilization,  Yale  University 


Late   Professor  of  Ancient   History.  Uni- 
versity  of  Berlin 


Department  of  History,  University  of  Pen*- 


Professor    of    European    History,     Brown 


Historian  and  Editor 


Professor  of  European  History.  University 
of  Nebraska 


Late   Dean  of   Elv.   formerly  Lecturer  in 
History.  Cambrulge  University 

Late  Member  of  the  French  Academy 

J.  HI00IN80N  CABOT,  Ph.D., 

DepMtment  of  History,  Wellealey  College 


Department    of    History,     University    of 


Late  Director-General  of  Sutistics  in  India 


Professor  of  Modem  History,  King's  Col- 
lege. London 

OIOROK  M   DUTCHXR.  Ph  D  ^*  ^'  ^^^^^'  ^^-^-t 

^    .      '      .  HI  ,         m'  ,''        ...        .  Commissioner  for  the   Publication  of  tb» 

Profeesor  of  History,  Westoyan  University  Ancient  Laws  of  Ireland 



JUSTIN  McCarthy,  ll.d,. 

Author  and  Historian 


Instructor    in     History.     Trinity    ColIege» 


Department    of    History,     Harvard    Uni- 


Professor  of  the  Slav  Languages,  CAlege 
de  France 


Assistant  Professor  of  European  History, 
University  of  Pennsylvania 


Former  United  States  Minister  to  Germany 


President  of  Zurich  University 

SIDNEY  B.  FAY,  Ph.D., 

Professor  of  History,    Dartmouth  College 


Department  of  History,  Western  Reserve 


Late  Professor  of  History,  University  Col- 
lege, London 


Assistant    Professor   of    History,    Harvard 


Professor  of   Russian   and  other  Slavonic 
Languages,  Oxford  University 


Department  of  History,  McGill  University 

E.  C.  OTTE, 

Specialist  on  Scandinavian  History 


Instructor    in     History,     Princeton     Uni- 


President  Royal  Geographical  Society 


Assistant  Professor  of  the  Science  of  So- 
ciety, Yale  University 


Fellow  of  University  College,  Oxford 


Lecturer  in  History  and  Librarian  of  the 
Law  School,  Yale  University 


Historian,  Author  and  Traveler 


Professor  of  Political  Science,   University 
of  Illinois 

JOHN  BACH  McMASTER,  Litt.D.,  LL.D., 

Professor  of  History.  University  of  Penn 

JAMES  LAMONT  PERKINS,  Managing  Editor 

The  editors  and  publishers  desire  to  express  their  appreciation  for  valuabla 
advice  and  suggestions  received  from  the  following:  Hon.  Andrew  D.  White, 
LL.D.,  Alfred  Thayer  Mahan,  D.C.L.,  LL.D.,  Hon.  Charles  Emory  Smith, 
LL.D.,  Professor  Edward  Gaylord  Bourne,  Ph.D.,  Charles  F.  Thwing, 
LL.D.,  Dr.  Emil  Reich,  William  Elliot  Griffis,  LL.D.,  Professor  John 
Martin  Vincent,  Ph.D.,  LL.D.,  Melvil  Dewey,  LL.D.,  Alston  Ellis,  LL.D., 
Professor  Charles  H.  McCarthy,  Ph.D.,  Professor  Herman  V.  Ames,  Ph.D., 
Professor  Walter  L.  Fleming,  Ph.D.,  Professor  David  Y.  Thomas,  Ph.D., 
Mr.  Otto  Reich  and  Mr.  O.  M.  Dickerson. 



Histories  of  Austria  have  hitherto  occupied  themselves  more  with 
the  international  relations  of  the  House  of  Hapsburg-  than  with  the 
destiny  of  the  peoples  under  its  rule.  The  title  of  German  Em- 
peror ^  has  caused  them  to  overlook  the  less  high-sounding  but 
much  more  real  titles  of  King  of  Bohemia  and  of  Hungary.  The 
history  of  Austria  has  been  found  in  Switzerland,  in  Italy,  and  in 
the  Low  Countries ;  in  fact  everywhere  except  among  those  countries 
upon  which  the  power  of  Austria  has  always  rested.  It  is  my 
intention  in  the  present  work  to  ignore  this  traditional  point  of 
view;  the  story  of  the  Hapsburgs  in  their  relations  with  countries 
not  essentially  a  part  of  Austria  is  therefore  omitted.  Especial 
attention  is,  on  the  other  hand,  directed  to  the  three  groups  which 
to-day  form  the  basis  of  the  Austro-Hungarian  monarchy — the 
hereditary  provinces,  the  Kingdom  of  Hungary  and  the  Kingdom  of 
Bohemia,  I  have  endeavored  to  bring  out  clearly  the  relative 
importance  of  the  part  played  by  each  of  these  three  groups;  I 
have  studied  the  divergent  tendencies  of  the  large  racial  groups,  the 
Slav,  the  Magyar,  and  the  German,  which  in  the  Middle  Ages, 
divided  between  them  the  mountain  forelands  of  the  Alps  and  the 
valleys  of  the  Upper  Elbe  and  of  the  Danube.  I  have  left  to  the 
historians  of  Germany,  Belgium  and  Italy,  everything  that  does 
not  properly  fall  within  the  limits  of  the  Austrian  state,  and,  thus 
rigorously  circumscribed,  my  task,  which  has  involved  fifteen  years 
of  study  and  travel,  gains  much  in  interest  and  unity, 

Paul  Louis  Leger 

*  The  French  reads,  "  le  titre  de  Vempereur  allemand,"  though  the  title  the 
author  has  in  mind  is  manifestly  that  of  emperor  of  the  Holy  Roman  Empire. 


The  present  history  of  Austria-Hungary  is  based  on  the  fourth 
edition  of  "  UHistoire  de  I'Autriche-Hongrie"  by  Professor  Leger, 
which  appeared  in  1895.  -'■"  translating  and  adapting  this  work 
I  have  had  to  deal  very  freely  with  the  original,  often  recasting 
and  re-writing  entire  sections.  In  the  interests  of  historical  accu- 
racy and  fairness  I  have  also,  where  possible,  avoided  the  strong 
Slavophil  tone  of  M.  Leger's  work.  With  his  main  thesis,  that 
the  countries  under  the  Hapsburg  rule  have  at  no  time  constituted 
a  nation  in  the  true  sense  of  the  word,  I  thoroughly  agree.  Austria- 
Hungary,  since  its  dual  organization  was  effected  in  1867,  quite 
as  much  as  was  Austria  under  the  absolutist  regime,  is  a  political 
system  rather  than  a  nation.  This  fact  makes  imperative  a  method 
of  treatment  that  involves,  as  Professor  Freeman  has  pointed  out, 
a  good  deal  of  going  backward  and  forward  in  telling  the  story 
of  the  lands  that  have  at  different  times  come  under  the  dominion 
of  the  Austrian  princes;  the  story  of  each  land  by  itself  and  the 
story  of  them  all  in  relation  to  the  common  power;  but  it  is  the 
only  way  to  arrive  at  a  just  appreciation  of  their  history.  "  There 
is  no  subject,"  says  the  same  authority  in  1889,  "  on  which  ordi- 
nary readers  stand  more  in  need  of  a  clear  setting  forth  of  facts 
than  on  that  which  M.  Leger  has  taken  in  hand.  The  facts  in 
themselves  need  some  thought,  and  some  clearness  of  thought,  to 
grasp  them,  and  the  difficulty  is  heightened  by  popular  confusions 
both  of  thought  and  of  language.  Much  mischief  has  been  done 
by  one  small  fashion  of  modem  speech.  .  .  .  The  *  interests  '  of 
England  or  France  mean  the  interests  of  the  English  or  French 
people.  A  *  friend '  of  England  or  France  would  mean  a  friend 
of  the  English  or  French  people.  But  when  we  hear,  as  we  have 
heard  of  a  *  friend  of  Turkey,'  does  that  mean  a  friend  of  the 
people  of  the  land  marked  *  Turkey '  on  the  map,  or  a  friend  of 
their  foreign  oppressor  the  Turk  ?  Do  the  *  interests  of  Turkey  * 
mean  the  interests  of  the  Turk,  or  the  exactly  opposite  inter- 
ests of  the  nations  which  the  Turk  holds  in  bondage?     So  with 


*  Austria.*  One  has  heard  of  the  *  interests  of  Austria/  the  *  policy 
of  Austria ' ;  I  have  seen  the  words  *  Austrian  national  honor  * ;  I 
have  come  across  people  who  believed  that  '  Austria '  was  one  land 
inhabited  by  *  Austrians '  and  that  *  Austrians '  spoke  the  '  Aus- 
trian '  language.  All  such  phrases  are  misapplied.  It  is  to  be 
presumed  that  in  all  of  them  *  Austria '  means  something  more 
than  the  true  Austria,  the  archduchy;  what  is  commonly  meant  by 
them  is  the  whole  dominions  of  the  sovereign  of  Austria.  People 
fancy  that  the  inhabitants  of  those  dominions  have  a  common 
being,  a  common  interest  like  that  of  the  people  of  England, 
France  or  Italy. 

"  Now  it  is  hardly  needful  to  stop  to  prove  that  there  is  no  such 
thing  as  an  Austrian  language,  that  a  whole  crowd  of  langfuages 
are  spoken  within  the  dominions  of  the  sovereign  of  Austria — 
German,  Magyar,  Italian,  Ruman,  and  the  various  dialects  of  the 
great  Slavonic  majority.  Each  of  these  is  the  language  of  a 
nation,  the  whole  or  part  of  which  is  under  the  rule  of  an  Aus- 
trian prince ;  but  there  is  no  Austrian  language,  no  Austrian  nation ; 
therefore  there  can  be  no  such  thing  as  *  Austrian  national  honor.' 
Nor  can  there  be  an  *  Austrian  policy '  in  the  same  sense  in  which 
there  is  an  English  or  a  French  policy,  that  is,  a  policy  in  which 
the  English  or  French  government  carries  out  the  will  of  the  Eng- 
lish or  French  nation.  Nor  can  there  be  a  common  *  Austrian 
interest '  for  all  the  dominions  of  the  sovereign  of  Austria ;  for 
the  interests  of  the  German  and  the  Magyar  on  the  one  hand,  of 
the  Slav  and  the  Ruman  on  the  other,  are  always  different,  and 
often  opposed.     In  truth,   such  phrases  as  *  Austrian  interests,' 

*  Austrian  policy '  and  the  like,  do  not  mean  the  interests  or  policy 
of  any  nation  at  all.  They  simply  mean  the  interests  and  policy 
of  a  particular  ruling  family,  which  may  often  be  the  same  as  the 
interests  and  wishes  of  particular  parts  of  their  dominions,  but 
which  can  never  represent  any  common  interest  or  common  wish 
on  the  part  of  the  whole. 

"  It  leads  to  confusion  thus  to  personify  *  Austria '  in  the  way 
now  so  common,  just  as  it  leads  to  yet  worse  confusion  so  to  per- 
sonify *  Turkey.*  Our  fathers  avoided  such  confusions.  They 
spoke  of  'the  Turk'  'the  Grand  Turk,'  'the  Grand  Seignior,' 
names  which  accurately  distinguished  the  foreign  oppressor  from 
the  lands  and  nation  which  he  holds  in  bondage.  So  they  spoke 
of  '  the  House  of  Austria,'  a  form  which  accurately  distinguished 

PREFACE  xiii 

the  ruling  family  from  the  various  kingdoms,  duchies,  counties, 
etc.,  over  which  the  head  of  that  house  holds  rule.  We  must  ever 
remember  that  the  dominions  of  the  House  of  Austria  are  simply 
a  collection  of  kingdoms,  duchies,  etc.,  brought  together  by  vari- 
ous accidental  causes,  but  which  really  have  nothing  in  common, 
no  common  speech,  no  common  feeling,  no  common  interest.  In 
one  case  only,  that  of  the  Magyars  in  Hungary,  does  the  House  of 
Austria  rule  over  a  whole  nation ;  the  other  kingdoms,  duchies,  etc., 
are  only  parts  of  nations,  having  no  tie  to  one  another,  but  having 
the  closest  ties  to  other  parts  of  the  several  nations  which  lie  close 
to  them,  but  which  are  under  other  governments.  The  only  bond 
among  them  all  is  that  a  series  of  marriages,  wars,  treaties,  and 
so  forth,  have  given  them  a  common  sovereign.  The  same  person 
is  King  of  Hungary,  Archduke  of  Austria,  Count  of  Tyrol,  Lord 
of  Trieste  and  a  hundred  other  things.    That  is  all. 

"  The  growth  and  the  abiding  dominion  of  the  House  of  Aus- 
tria is  one  of  the  most  remarkable  phenomena  in  European  history. 
Powers  of  the  same  kind  have  arisen  twice  before;  but  in  both 
cases  they  were  very  short-lived,  while  the  power  of  the  House  of 
Austria  has  lasted  for  several  centuries.  The  power  of  the  House 
of  Anjou  in  the  twelfth  century,  the  power  of  the  House  of  Bur- 
gundy in  the  fifteenth  century,  were  powers  of  exactly  the  same 
kind.  They  too  were  collections  of  scraps,  with  no  natural  con- 
nection, brought  together  by  the  accidents  of  warfare,  marriage 
or  diplomacy.  Now  why  is  it  that  both  those  powers  broke  in 
pieces  almost  at  once,  after  the  reigns  of  two  princes  in  each  case, 
while  the  power  of  the  House  of  Austria  has  lasted  so  long?  Two 
causes  suggest  themselves.  One  is  the  long  connection  between  the 
House  of  Austria  and  the  Holy  Roman  Empire  and  the  Kingdom 
of  Germany.  So  many  Austrian  princes  were  elected  emperors  as 
to  make  the  Austrian  House  seem  great  and  imperial  in  itself. 
I  believe  that  this  cause  has  done  a  great  deal  towards  the  result; 
but  I  believe  that  another  cause  has  done  yet  more.  This  is  that, 
though  the  Austrian  power  is  not  a  national  power,  there  is,  as  has 
been  already  noticed,  a  nation  within  it.  While  it  contains  only 
scraps  of  other  nations,  it  contains  the  whole  of  the  Magyar  nation. 
It  thus  gets  something  of  the  strength  of  a  national  power.  The 
possession  of  Hungary  has  more  than  once  saved  the  Austrian 
power  from  altogether  breaking  in  pieces.  And  it  is  certain  that, 
at  this  moment,  the  policy  of  the  House  of  Austria,  so  far  as  it 


is  anything  more  than  the  mere  policy  of  a  family,  is  the  policy 
of  the  Kingdom  of  Hungary." 

These  remarks  by  Professor  Freeman  are  found  in  the  preface 
to  an  English  translation  of  the  first  edition  of  Leger's  history  of 
Austria-Hungary  by  Mrs.  Berbeck  Hill.  To  this  work  I  am  in- 
debted for  considerable  assistance,  sometimes  availing  myself  freely 
of  Mrs.  Hill's  rendering  of  the  original. 

In  the  difficult  matter  of  the  spelling  of  geographical  and 
proper  names  I  have  not  followed  Leger's  attempt  to  give  the  form 
used  by  the  people  themselves,  since  that  would  have  introduced 
too  many  unintelligible  Slav  and  Magyar  forms.  I  have,  instead, 
followed  the  usage  of  the  standard  English  histories  and  geogra- 
phies ;  the  result  is  that  where  the  word  has  not  been  anglicized  the 
German  form  has,  as  a  rule,  been  used,  as  against  the  Magyar  or 

In  writing  the  history  of  Austria-Hungary  for  the  last  twelve 
years  I  have  sought  to  give  an  impartial  account  of  the  exciting 
conflicts  that  mark  the  political  side  of  Austrian  history  during 
this  period.  In  this,  as  in  the  survey  of  the  country's  economic 
and  social  development  and  of  its  international  relations,  I  have 
throughout  allowed  the  facts  to  tell  their  own  story,  endeavoring 
to  secure  the  proper  emphasis  by  selection  and  arrangement  rather 
than  by  comment  of  my  own. 

H/^  .  ^   •^Zl*^^,^^^;^^^^ 

UKivntsmr  of  Pennsylvania 





PRIMITIVE   TIMES    TO    1272 


I.  The  Monarchy:  its  Character  and  Component 

Parts 3 

II.  Primitive  Times,  the  Roman  Occupation  and  the 

German  Invasion.     365  B.C.-565  a.d.             .         .  11 

III.  The  Slavs.    450-650  a.d.        .....  18 

IV.  Moravia  and  the  Slav  Apostles.    658-903  a.d.     .  29 
V.  The  Founding  of  the  Magyar  State.    892-1038     .  41 

VI.  Hungary  under  the  Successors  of  St.  Stephen. 

1038-1301 50 

VII.  Bohemia  and  the  Premyslides.    894-1278     .         .       62 
VIII.  Early  History  of  the  Austrian  Group — the  House 

OF  Babenberg.    973-1246     .....       88 
IX.  The  Austrian  Group  under  the  first  Hapsburgs 

1273-1493 99 


X.  Bohemia  under  the  House  of  Luxemberg.     1310- 

1415 113 

XL  Bohemia  and  the  Hussite  Wars.     141 5-1437         .     125 
XII.  Bohemia    under    Podiebrad    and    the    Jagellons 

1437-1526 143 

XIII.  Hungary  under  the  House  of  Anjou  and  the 

Elective  Monarchy.     1308- 1444        .         .  -151 


Turks.    1444-1526 159 




EMPERORS.     1493-1740 

CHAPTEE  ^^^^ 

XV.  The  Austrian  Emperors.     1493-1740     .         .         .173 

XVI.  Bohemia:  her  first  Hapsburg  Kings.     1526-1610  .  194 
XVII.  The  Thirty  Years'  War  and  the  Overthrow  of 

Bohemia.     1618-1648 204 

XVIII.  Hungary  Divided.     1526-1564        ....  216 
XIX.  Hungary  Freed  from  the  Turks  and  Reconciled 

TO  Austria.     1629-1746 227 



XX.  Maria  Theresa.     1740-1780 239 

XXI.  The  Internal  History  of  Austria  under  Maria 

Theresa.     1740-1780 251 

XXII.  Joseph  II.    1780-1790    ........  264 



ERAS.    1792-1815 

XXIII.  Francis  II.  and  the  Wars  against  the  Revolution 

1792-1804 279 

XXIV.  Francis    II.   and   the   Wars   against    Napoleon 

1804-1815 290 


NATIONALITIES.     1815-1848 

XXV.  Francts  II.  and  Metternich.     1815-1835        .         .  319 

XXVI.  Hungary  and  the  Slav  Countries.     1790-1835     .  330 
XXVII.  Ferdinand  I. — Austria  on  the  Eve  of  Revolution 

1835-1848 345 



REVOLUTION    AND    REACTION.    1848-1867 


XXVIII.  The  Revolutionary  Movement.     1848-1849     .         .  361 

XXIX.  The  Hungarian  Revolution.     1848-1849        .         .  368 

XXX.  The  Revolution  in  Vienna.     1849        .         .         .  374 
XXXI.  Early  Years  of  the  Reign  of  Francis  Joseph — the 

Period   of   Reaction.     1848- 1860        .         .         .  378 
XXXII.  Attempts    at    Constitutional    Government — the 

Expulsion  of  Austria  from  Germany,     i860- 1867  386 

AUSTRIA-HUNGARY.    1867-1910 

XXXIII.  The  Establishment  of  Dualism.     1867-1871         .     397 

XXXIV.  Parliamentary   Struggle   for   Federalism.     1871- 

1878 408 

XXXV.  Acquisition    and    Incorporation    of    Bosnia    and 

Herzegovina.     1878- 1894 421 

XXXVI.  Recent  History.    1894- 1910 432 


BIBLIOGRAPHY        .        .        ,..        .        ....    463 

INDEX        .        ..        ..,       ,„        .        ,„        .        .i3        •         .    469 


A    Hussite    Priest    Administers    the    Communion 

Photogravure      .         .         .         .         .         .         .     Frontispiece 

Cremating  the  Body  of  a  Slav  Chieftain  . 

Rudolph  von  Hapsburg  Views  the  Body  of  Otokar 

Capture  of  Frederick  the  Handsome 

John  Huss  is  Led  to  the  Funeral  Pyre 

The  Hussite  Wars     ...... 

The  Engagement  of  the  Children  of  Maximilian  I. 
Entry  of  the  Austrian  Troops  into  Buda     . 
The  Arrest  of  Francis  RXkoczi  H.      . 
Frederick  the  Great  before  the  Battle  of  Leuthen 
Maria  Theresa    ....... 

The  Last  Call  to  Arms        ..... 

The  Congress  of  Vienna 

The  Outbreak  of  the  Revolution  of  1848  in  Vienna 

The  Coronation  of  Francis  Joseph  and  Elizabeth  at  Pesth    398 








Races  of  Austria-Hungary 
Europe.    End  of  the  VHth  Century 
Southeastern  Europe,     circa  910  a.d. 
Southeastern  Europe  during  the  Crusades. 
Central  Europe.     XVIth  Century     . 
Austria  after  the  Treaties  of  Utrecht  and  Rastadt. 

I 095- I 270 











The  Austrian  State  at  the  Beginning  of  the  XVIIth 

Century 205 

Partitions   of   Poland 281 

Austria.     1815 322 

Austrian  Empire.     1848 362 

Vienna 414 

The  New  Danube  Channel 416 

Southeastern  Europe.    1906        .         .        ,        .        .        ,  425 


TIMES  TO   1272 


Chapter    I 


THE  Austro-Hungarian  monarchy,  notwithstanding  the  an- 
cient traditions  of  the  house  of  Austria,  is  one  of  the 
youngest  of  the  European  states.  In  its  present  form  it 
dates  back  only  to  1867,  the  year  immediately  following  Austria's 
ill-fated  war  with  Prussia,  through  which  she  was  separated  from 
Germany,  and  forced  thenceforward  to  seek  her  destiny  among  the 
peoples  and  lands  of  the  Danube  valley.  Among  these  the  Hun- 
garians in  particular  have  had  a  strong  national  development  of 
their  own,  and,  with  the  Bohemians,  from  the  time  of  their  first 
union  with  Austria  have  always  been  more  or  less  separate  and 
distinct,  enjoying  rights  and  privileges  respected,  in  principle  at 
least,  by  all  the  rulers  of  the  house  of  Hapsburg. 

The  history  of  the  Austro-Hungarian  state  is,  therefore,  not 
the  history  of  a  united,  homogeneous  people.  One  tie  only  is  com- 
mon to  all ;  it  is,  and  has  been  for  centuries,  the  house  of  Hapsburg. 
But  even  the  story  of  the  house  of  Hapsburg  cannot  more  than  fur- 
nish a  thread  for  a  history  of  this  remarkable  Austro-Hungarian 
state.  Nations  have  an  existence  independent  of  that  of  princely 
families,  however  illustrious  these  may  have  been. 

The  kingdoms  of  Hungary  and  Bohemia,  in  offering  their 
crown  to  Ferdinand  I.  of  Austria,  early  in  the  sixteenth  century 
(1526),  did  not  understand  that  they  were  subordinating  their 
individuality  to  a  factitious  conglomeration  of  foreign  states.  After 
having  had  a  free  and  glorious  past,  under  their  own  national  mon- 
archs,  they  sought,  in  a  purely  personal  union  with  Austria,  the 
strength  necessary  to  resist  the  Ottoman  invasions.  They  did  not 
contemplate  losing  their  identity  either  in  an  Austrian  monarchy 
or  in  the  Holy  Roman  Empire.  Ferdinand  I.  brought  with  him 
only  the  hereditary  states,  that  is.   Upper  and  Lower  Austria, 


Styria,  Carinthia,  Camiola,  Gorica,  Gradiska,  a  part  of  Istria  and 
the  Tyrol,  whose  total  population  of  Germans  and  Slavs  even 
to-day  numbers  only  about  seven  million  inhabitants,  not  a  sixth 
of  the  total  population  of  the  Austro-Hungarian  monarchy.  Nor 
could  this  group,  either  because  of  its  importance,  the  brilliancy 
of  its  history,  or  the  superiority  of  its  civilization,  claim  a  right  to 
absorb  or  assimilate  the  two  kingdoms  of  Bohemia  and  Hungary. 
On  receiving  the  crowns  of  St.  Vacslav  and  of  St.  Stephen,  the 
Emperor  Ferdinand  bound  himself  to  respect  the  rights  and  privi- 
leges which  pertained  thereto,  having  given  a  similar  pledge  in 
regard  to  Croatia,  previously  annexed  to  the  crown  of  Hungary. 
Thus  it  was  that,  by  a  series  of  mutual  agreements,  freely  consented 
to,  Bohemia,  Hungary,  and  the  group  of  hereditary  Austrian  prov- 
inces passed  under  the  rule  of  the  same  sovereign.  Nor  should  the 
fact  be  overlooked  that  at  that  time  several  of  the  provinces  that 
make  up  the  monarchy  of  to-day  still  belonged  to  neighboring 
states ;  Galicia,  for  example,  was  a  part  of  the  kingdom  of  Poland, 
from  which  it  was  not  detached  until  1773,  and  Dalmatia  was  still 
subject  to  the  republic  of  Venice.  Lombardy  and  Venetia,  later 
held  by  Austria  for  more  than  half  a  century,  were  lost  as  a  con- 
sequence of  the  wars  of  1859  and  1866. 

It  will  readily  appear,  therefore,  that  Austria-Hungary  is 
essentially  a  state  based  upon  historic  rights,  rights  which  have 
not  been  set  aside  either  by  conquest  or  by  the  suppression  of 
unsuccessful  revolts. 

Nor  is  there  in  the  history  of  this  complex  state  that  steady 
growth  of  a  great  race,  as  in  France  or  in  Germany ;  that  influence 
of  geographic  unity,  so  strong  a  factor  in  national  development,  as 
in  the  case  of  Italy;  nor  the  permanent  unity  of  interests  and 
aspirations  which  is  seen  in  the  case  of  the  republic  of  Switzerland. 
Austria-Hungary  does  not  have  natural  frontiers;  those  physical 
boundaries  determined  beforehand  by  seas,  mountain  ranges,  and 
rivers  have  been  largely  ignored  in  the  territorial  expansion  of  the 
Austrian  state.  The  middle  basin  of  the  Danube,  with  its  moun- 
tainous surroundings  of  the  Dinaric  system,  forms  a  large,  well-knit 
geographic  unit  which,  from  the  standpoint  of  geography,  might 
well  be  expected  to  serve  as  the  seat  of  a  united,  homogeneous 
people.  But  the  Austro-Hungarian  monarchy  has  pushed  out 
beyond  this  natural  base  in  neariy  every  direction.  "  From  the 
hydrographic  standpoint,"  says  Reclus,  "  the  Danube  and  its  tribu- 


taries  indeed  unite  in  one  basin  the  mountains  of  Austria  and  the 
plains  of  Hungary,  but  a  considerable  part  of  the  monarchy  is 
found  outside  of  these  Danubian  regions,  in  the  basin  of  the  Elbe, 
of  the  Vistula,  of  the  Dnieper,  and  of  the  Adige." 

As  to  the  mountain  chains,  they  seldom  coincide  with  the 
boundaries  of  the  monarchy.  The  great  chain  of  the  Carpathians 
which  bounds  it  on  the  northeast  does  not  enclose  Bukowina,  Ga- 
licia,  and  Silesia,  which  are  entirely  exposed  on  the  north  to 
attack  from  Germany  or  Russia.  Bohemia  is  almost  encircled  by 
a  series  of  lesser  mountains,  forming  a  geographic  unit  by  itself, 
and  is  part  of  the  basin  of  the  Elbe.  Toward  the  southwest  the 
Austrian  frontier  is  better  defined  by  the  Alps,  the  Adriatic,  and 
the  parallel  courses  of  the  Save  and  the  Drave,  but  even  here  Istria 
lies  outside. 

Without  geographic  unity,  Austria-Hungary  presents,  at  the 
same  time,  the  greatest  confusion  and  anarchy  from  the  ethno- 
graphic standpoint.  This  region,  so  poorly  defined  by  physical 
features,  belongs  in  no  sense  to  one  race,  strong  in  its  solidarity 
and  obedience  to  the  same  traditions,  and  prepared  for  any  sacrifice 
in  order  to  work  out  its  common  future.  The  races  of  the  monarchy 
are  many,  but  four  among  them,  representing  the  four  great 
ethnic  groups  of  Europe,  have  contributed  most  largely  to  its  his- 
tory. They  are,  first,  the  Germans  of  the  hereditary  provinces; 
second,  the  Slavs,  divided  into  groups  according  as  they  inhabit 
Bohemia,  Galicia,  or  the  provinces  of  the  southeast;  third,  the 
Magyars,  of  Turanian  extraction,  in  Hungary,  and  fourth,  the 
Latins,  Rumanians,  in  Transylvania,  and  Italians,  in  the  southern 
Tyrol  and  on  the  shores  of  the  Adriatic. 

The  relative  numerical  strength  of  the  different  nationalities 
of  Austria-Hungary  has  varied  considerably  from  time  to  time. 
According  to  the  census  reports  of  1900  the  total  population  of 
forty-five  and  a  half  million  was  distributed  among  the  different 
nationalities  as  follows: 

German 11,306,795 

Magyar 8,751,877 


Rumanians  .     .     .       3,030,442 

Italians     ....  727,102 




Poles      ....  4,252,483 

Ruthenians        .     .  3,811,017 

Slovenes        .     .     .  1,192,780 
Servians  and  Croa- 

tians         .     .     .  3,442,129 

Czechs  and  Slovaks  7,975,038 

Gypsies  and  Other  Nationalities  915,604 

Total  Population      .    .        45,405,267 

These  incongruous  elements  have  not  assimilated  with  time. 
They  have  conserved  their  languages  and  their  traditions,  and  they 
live  side  by  side  without  amalgamating.  The  life  of  the  Austro- 
Hungarian  state  rests  upon  the  carefully  poised  equilibrium  of  the 
ethnic  groups  that  compose  it,  and  this  equilibrium,  always  more 
or  less  imstable,  must  be  preserved  or  the  state  will  fall  to  pieces. 

Much  too  considerable  a  role  is  generally  attributed  to  the 
Germans.  This  arises  from  a  number  of  causes,  among  others  the 
political  dominance  of  the  Gertnan  element,  especially  in  the  eight- 
eenth and  early  nineteenth  centuries,  and  from  a  lack  of  knowledge, 
not  only  of  their  numerical  inferiority,  but  also  of  the  fact  that  they 
are  geographically  scattered.  Austria,  considered  as  a  German 
state,  does  not  exist.  The  number  of  Germans  is  only  a  little  over 
nine  million,  though  the  total  is  increased  by  including  two  million 
Jews  scattered  throughout  the  monarchy,  whose  mother  tongue  is 
German,  and  who  exert  no  inconsiderable  influence  on  the  eco- 
nomic conditions  of  the  provinces  in  which  they  live.  But  the  eleven 
million  are  far  from  forming  a  compact  group.  The  only  prov- 
inces of  the  Austro-Hungarian  state  that  are  entirely  German  are 
the  two  Austrias  and  the  duchy  of  Salzburg.  To  this  compact 
mass  arc  joined  the  Germans  of  Styria,  Carinthia,  and  the  Tyrol, 
who  live  among  the  Slavs  and  Italians  of  their  respective  provinces. 
The  group  formed  by  these  five  provinces  comprises,  at  the  most, 
five  and  a  half  million  Germans,  and  this  group  is  the  only  one 
that  can  be  considered  as  forming  a  legitimate  part  of  the  greater 
Germany  of  the  pan-Germans.  Supposing  that  they  should  one 
day  entrt"  into  this  greater  Germany  because  of  the  principle  of 
nationality,  this  very  principle  will  not  permit  the  absorption  of 


the  Italians  of  the  Tyrol,  or  the  Slavs  of  the  Adriatic.  Almost 
thirty  leagues  would  still  separate  the  Germans  from  Triest,  which 
they  look  upon  as  their  great  seaport  on  the  Adriatic. 

As  for  the  Germans  of  Bohemia,  they  constitute  scarcely  two- 
fifths  of  the  present  population  of  the  kingdom.  They  stretch 
along  the  frontiers  of  Bavaria  and  Saxony  and  do  not  form  a  geo- 
graphic group.  In  Moravia  a  group  of  about  five  hundred  thousand 
Germans  occupies  the  north  of  the  province,  the  remainder  of 
whose  population*  is  largely  Slavic.  Even  if  it  is  admitted  that  the 
German  population  of  Bohemia  and  of  Moravia  approximates  three 
million,  it  must  be  remembered  that  this  figure  is  of  slight  impor- 
tance in  comparison  with  the  great  Czech  population,  which  num- 
bers nearly  six  million.  Nevertheless  the  Germans  lay  claim  to 
Bohemia  on  the  basis  of  nationality,  as  in  the  case  of  Alsace,  and 
also  on  the  basis  of  a  pretended  historic  right  derived  from  the 
Holy  Roman  Empire.  Besides,  Bohemia,  they  say,  penetrates  to 
the  heart  of  Germany,  it  intercepts  the  natural  boundary,  is  a  thorn 
in  the  German  flesh,  and  must  be  removed. 

In  all  other  parts  of  the  monarchy  the  Germans  form  insig- 
nificant groups,  colonies  without  special  political  rights,  except  in 
the  case  of  the  Saxons  of  Transylvania,  who,  because  of  custom 
and  because  of  their  scientific  and  industrial  superiority,  enjoy 
special  privileges  and  advantages.  Taken  together,  therefore,  the 
numerical  strength  of  the  Germans  makes  a  very  respectable  show- 
ing, but  its  importance  is  singularly  diminished  by  the  fact  that 
the  different  parts  which  compose  it  are  scattered  among  Slavic, 
Magyar,  and  Rumanian  populations. 

The  other  race  which,  with  the  German,  is  in  political  control 
in  Austria-Hungary,  is  the  Hungarian,  or  Magyar.  It  occupies 
all  of  the  kingdom  of  Hungary,  but  not  exclusively,  for  Slavs,  Ger- 
mans, and  Rumanians  share  it  with  them.  Indeed,  only  about  fifty 
per  cent,  of  the  population  are  Hungarians  proper,  or  Magyars, 
though  over  eighty  per  cent,  of  the  entire  population  now  speak 
the  Hungarian  language,  and  this  proportion  is  steadily  increas- 
ing. The  Magyars  owe  their  strength  to  their  central  position 
on  the  Danube,  to  the  size  and  homogeneity  of  their  group,  and 
to  certain  peculiar  political  and  military  qualities  which  explain  why 
they  have  been  able  to  subordinate  and  Magyarize  the  less  united 
populations  of  the  great  Hungarian  plain. 

The  Slavic  race  occupies  the  north  and  south  of  the  monarchy. 



The  Czechs  inhabit  the  larger  part  of  Bohemia,  or  the  upper  Elbe 
basin,  Moravia,  and  Silesia;  the  Slovaks,  northern  Hungary;  the 
Poles,  the  northwest  of  Galicia;  the  Ruthenians,  the  remainder,  a 
part  of  Bukowina,  and  some  districts  in  the  northeast  of  Hungary. 
The  Slavs  of  the  north  artf  separated  from  the  Slavs  of  the 
south  by  the  Germans,  the  Magyars,  and  the  Rumanians.  This  geo- 
graphic separation,  added  to  the  dislike  of  the  race  for  a  strong 
government,  is  frequently  given  as  the  reasorf  that,  in  spite  of  their 
numerical  superiority,  they  have  never  been  able  to  dominate  the 
Germans  and  Magyars,  or  even  to  enforce  a  recognition  of  their 

claim  to  equal  political  rights  with  these  in  the  monarchy.  The 
Slavs  of  the  south  fall  into  two  groups:  the  Serbo-Croatians,  oc- 
cupying the  region  from  Croatia  eastward,  and  including  the  prov- 
inces of  Bosnia  and  Herzegovina;  and  the  Slovenes,  who  inhabit 
Carinthia,  Camiola,  a  part  of  Istria,  and  Styria. 

The  Rumanians  are  located  in  the  southeast  of  Hungary,  in 
Transylvania,  and  in  Bukowina.  The  Italians  form  a  compact 
group  in  the  southern  Tyrol,  and  have  colonies  in  the  principal 
cities  of  Istria  and  the  Dalmatian  coast. 

The  vitality  as  well  as  the  diversity  of  these  different  elements 
appears  in  the  number  of  languages  possessing  a  distinct  literature. 


It  is  not  a  mere  matter  of  dialects  or  local  idioms,  as  is  the  case 
in  Germany  or  in  Italy,  but  of  forms  of  speech  fixed  in  literature, 
used  by  the  church,  consecrated  by  usage  in  political  assemblies, 
and  made  familiar  every  day  in  the  press.  Austria  is  a  veritable 
Tower  of  Babel.  It  publishes  German,  Hungarian,  Polish,  Ru- 
thenian,  Czech,  Slovak,  Serbo-Croatian,  Slovene,  Rumanian,  and 
Italian  newspapers.  And  these  newspapers  are  in  languages,  as  a 
rule,  unintelligible  to  all  except  those  immediately  concerned,  and 
very  frequently  represent  diametrically  opposite  tendencies.  Cer- 
tain groups  even  go  so  far  as  to  seek  their  center  of  gravity  outside 
of  the  monarchy  altogether.  The  Germans  look  to  a  greater  Ger- 
many, the  Poles  to  a  regenerated  Poland,  the  Italians  toward  Italy, 
the  Slavs  of  the  south  toward  their  kindred  in  Turkey,  the  Ru- 
manians toward  their  kindred  in  Rumania.  Only  the  Czechs  and 
the  Magyars  find  the  aspirations  of  their  nationality  within  the 

In  conformity  with  the  heterogeneous  character  of  the  peo- 
ple, the  emperor  of  Austria,  in  the  protocols  of  the  chancellery, 
assumes  the  following  titles:  emperor  of  Austria,  king  of  Hun- 
gary and  of  Bohemia,  of  Dalmatia,  Croatia  and  Slavonia,  of  Ga- 
licia  and  Lodomeria,  king  of  Illyria,  grand  duke  of  Austria,  of 
Bukowina,  of  Styria^  Carniola,  of  Carinthia,  grand  prince  of  Si- 
lesia, margrave  of  Moravia,  count  of  Hapsburg  and  the  Tyrol. 
Of  all  these  titles  those  which  most  represent  real  sovereign  power 
are  those  of  Bohemia  and  Hungary.  And  yet  the  history  of  the 
two  kingdoms  of  St.  Vacslav  and  St.  Stephen,  and  the  ethno- 
graphic make-up  of  the  territories  brought  together  under  the 
Hapsburg  rule,  have  been  almost  entirely  neglected  by  the  his- 
torians of  the  old  school. 

Chapter  II 

THE  GERMAN  INVASIONS.    365  B.C.-565  A.D. 

LITTLE  is  known  of  the  people  who  occupied  the  Austro- 
Hungarian  lands  before  the  Christian  era.  Their  history 
^  practically  begins  with  the  Roman  conquest,  and  even  on 
this  period  the  knowledge  that  has  been  transmitted  is  generally 
vague  and  inexact.  The  Romans,  like  the  Greeks,  regarded  the  bar- 
barian peoples  with  prejudiced  eyes;  they  cared  little  about  their 
early  history,  paid  no  attention  to  the  native  language,  of  which  they 
generally  remained  ignorant,  and  accepted  all  kinds  of  fantastic 
legends.  There  is  no  doubt,  however,  that  the  Austro-Hungarian 
territory  was  inhabited  during  the  stone  age.  Cut  flints  found 
in  Upper  and  Lower  Austria,  Bohemia,  Moravia,  Hungary,  and 
Galicia  establish  the  fact  without  question.  Articles  in  bronze 
are  numerous;  and,  as  utensils  in  iron  are  also  found,  there  is 
every  reason  to  believe  that  these  different  strata  reveal  an  unin- 
terrupted succession  of  inhabitants  and  civilization  in  primitive 
times.  On  the  other  hand,  it  is  difficult  to  determine  the  race 
which  inhabited  these  regions  during  this  period.  Were  they  Finns, 
Iberians,  or  Aryans?    No  one  knows. 

If  we  disregard"  the  Greek  legends  about  Illyria  and  the  Adri- 
atic coast,  it  would  seem  as  if  the  first  race  which  occupied  the  soil 
of  present-day  Austria  was  that  of  the  Celts.  After  having  pushed 
onward  to  the  extreme  west  of  Europe,  in  the  wake  of  the  great 
primeval  migration,  the  Celtic  wave  swept  back  toward  the  center 
and  east.  According  to  a  tradition,  the  Celts  spread  out  over  the 
territory  between  the  Rhine  and  the  Vistula  and,  under  their  chief, 
Sigovesius,  occupied  the  ranges  of  the  Alps  and  the  basin  of  the 
Danube  during  the  fourth  century  B.C.  We  know  definitely  that 
in  the  year  335  b.c.  Alexander  the  Great  received  Celtic  deputies, 
on  the  lower  Danube,  offering  peace  and  friendship.  The  Celts 
established  themselves  under  different  names  in  the  various  dis- 


ROMAN     AND     GERMAN  11 

335-101   B.C. 

tricts.  The  Boii  occupied  Bohemia,  to  which  they  gave  their 
name;  the  Taurisci  estabhshed  themselves  in  the  region  of  Salz- 
burg, Styria,  and  Carinthia,  the  Scordisci  in  Croatia  and  Slavonia, 
the  Ambrones  toward  the  mouth  of  the  Vistula.  The  famous 
bronze  boars  found  in  Bohemia  are  regarded  as  relics  of  this  Celtic 

The  tribes  on  the  shores  of  the  Adriatic  known  as  Illyrians  did 
not  blend  with  the  Celts.  The  piracies  of  these  maritime  popula- 
tions brought  them  into  conflict  with  the  Romans,  and,  under 
Ag^on,  their  king,  and  later  his  widow,  Teuts,  they  were  con- 
quered and  obliged  to  pay  tribute.  Aquileia  was  built  in  i8o  B.C., 
Istria  became  a  Roman  province,  and  the  city  of  Triest  rose  to  hold 
the  conquered  people  in  check.  In  the  year  i68  B.C.  Genthius, 
king  of  the  Illyrians,  having  allied  himself  with  Perseus  of  Mace- 
donia, was  conquered  and  his  territory  made  tributary  to  Rome. 
The  persistency  of  classic  culture  and  the  use  of  the  Italian  language 
upon  the  Dalmatian  coast  to-day  go  back  to  this  first  Roman 

Once  masters  of  the  Adriatic  coast,  the  Romans  penetrated 
little  by  little  into  the  interior,  and  soon  found  themselves  in  touch 
with  the  Taurisci  and  the  Rhaeti,  who  lived  isolated  among  the 
mountains  of  the  Tyrol.  In  the  year  115  B.C.  the  Consul  Marius 
Aemilius  Scaurus  attacked  and  overthrew  the  Taurisci,  but  as  he 
pushed  farther  north  he  came  in  contact  with  the  Germans.  About 
this  time  the  Cimbri  descended  toward  the  south,  and  defeated 
the  Romans,  who  tried  to  check  them  at  Noreia  in  Carinthia. 
But  ten  years  later  the  barbarians  suffered  defeat  before  the 
walls  of  Aix,  in  102  b.c,  and  at  Vercelli  in  loi  B.C.  From  this 
time  forward  the  Alps,  Bohemia,  and  the  basin  of  the  Danube 
continued  to  be  threatened  by  the  German  tribes.  The  Suevi,  the 
Marcomanni,  and  the  Hermunduri  incessantly  attacked  the  Celts, 
and  these,  thus  hemmed  in  by  the  Teutons  and  the  Romans,  instead 
of  uniting  in  order  to  ward  off  the  danger,  divided  and  weakened 
themselves  by  internal  dissensions. 

While  the  Marcomanni  were  pushing  into  the  country  of  the 
Boii,  the  Dacians,  a  people  inhabiting  the  region  of  the  lower 
Danube,  established  a  powerful  state  extending  over  eastern  Hun- 
gary, the  banate  of  Temesvar,  Wallachia,  Moldavia,  Bukowina, 
and  Transylvania.  The  nationality  of  the  Dacians  is  still  a  mat- 
ter of  dispute,  but  they  are  known  to  have  been  a  warlike,  though 


101-13     B.C. 

agricultural,  people,  skilled  in  working  in  metal,  and  enthusiastic 
believers  in  the  immortality  of  the  soul.  About  the  middle  of  the 
first  century  before  Christ  they  were  ruled  by  Berebistas,  an 
ambitious  monarch,  eager  for  conquests  and  ready  to  profit  by  the 
discords  among  his  neighbors.  The  Celts  afforded  him  excellent 
opportunities;  a  conflict  having  broken  out  between  the  Scordisci 
and  the  Boii,  the  former  sought  the  aid  of  Berebistas,  and  through 
him  defeated  the  Boii.  They  were  forced  to  leave  their  country, 
which  was  for  a  long  time  known  as  Deserta  Boiorum.  Gradually, 
however,  the  Marcomanni  and  the  Quadi  settled  the  deserted 

Under  Octavius  the  peoples  of  the  Adriatic  were  brought  more 
completely  than  ever  under  Roman  rule.  Sisca,  on  the  Save,  re- 
ceived a  Roman  garrison  and  was  united  to  Aquileia  by  a  military 
road,  later  becoming  one  of  the  great  military  posts  of  the  Romans, 
and  a  basis  for  their  actions  against  the  Pannonians  who  occupied 
the  lands  between  the  Save,  the  Danube,  and  the  Alps.  Shortly 
after  this  the  Dalmatians  were  also  conquered.  Then  followed  the 
attack  up)on  the  Alpine  tribes,  and  after  a  hard  struggle  the  Rhaeti 
and  the  Vindelici  were  conquered  and  made  subjects  of  the  empire 
in  13  B.C.  To  these  new  provinces  Noricum  was  added  without 
a  struggle  and  the  Danube  became  the  frontier  of  the  Roman 

Behind  this  frontier  Rome  organized  the  conquered  territory, 
gave  to  it  her  laws  and  her  language,  and  became  in  time  the 
instrument  of  its  conversion  to  Christianity.  Pannonia  was  placed 
under  a  legatus  consularis,  Noricum  under  a  procurator,  and  the 
present  Camiola  became  the  meeting  point  of  the  frontiers  of  Italy, 
Pannonia,  and  Noricum.  Strong  garrisons  of  from  6o,ocx)  to 
70,000  men  secured  the  submission  of  the  natives.  Among  the  for- 
tified towns  was  one  called  Vindobona,  the  Vienna  of  to-day,  which 
was  held  by  a  legion  and,  toward  the  end  of  the  empire,  by  a  squad- 
ron of  the  Danube  fleet.  As  early  at  51  a.d.  the  Save  and  the 
Danube  were  guarded  by  a  fleet,  which  was  largely  increased  under 
Vespasian  and  put  under  the  supreme  command  of  an  officer  at 
Vindobona.  Three  main  roads  started  from  Aquileia,  intersecting 
the  provinces,  and  at  Laibach  a  great  number  of  secondary  roads 
met.  Military  boundary  stones  can  still  be  seen  in  many  places  at 
distances  reckoned  from  Aquileia,  Milan,  Sirmium,  Bregenz,  and 


13  B.C.-104  A.D. 

The  immediate  neighbors  of  the  Romans  to  the  east,  after  the 
occupation  of  Pannonia,  were  the  Marcomanni.  At  first  the  rela- 
tions with  them  were  friendly.  Maroboduus,  the  son  of  a  prince  of 
the  Marcomanni,  was  even  sent  to  the  court  of  Augustus  to  be  edu- 
cated. But  after  the  conquest  of  Noricum  and  Rhaetia  these 
friendly  relations  gave  way  to  distrust.  Maroboduus,  eager  to  ex- 
tend his  power,  occupied  Bohemia,  Moravia,  and  a  large  part  of 
Germany,  and  fortified  his  capital,  which  became  a  refuge  for  all 
who  conspired  against  Rome.  A  Roman  army  led  by  Tiberius 
brought  him  to  terms  but  was  forced  to  retrace  its  steps  because 
of  a  revolt  of  Pannonia  and  Dalmatia.  Indeed,  it  was  the  Ger- 
mans themselves,  under  Hermann,  who,  in  17  a.d.,  finally  destroyed 
the  power  of  Maroboduus.  Two  years  later  Maroboduus  found 
a  refuge  from  the  invading  Goths,  at  Ravenna,  which  Tiberius 
appointed  as  his  place  of  residence.  Some  time  afterward  a  num- 
ber of  wandering  races  that  had  settled  in  the  basin  of  the  Theiss, 
on  the  ruins  of  the  kingdom  of  Dacia,  were  united  under  a 
king,  Decebalus,  who  obtained  Roman  architects  and  artisans,  built 
fortifications,  and  worked  the  rich  mines  of  Transylvania.  As  his 
power  grew  he  defied  the  Romans,  destroyed  two  armies  sent 
against  him  by  Domitian,  and  obliged  him  to  conclude  a  shameful 
peace  in  90  a.d.,  by  which  Rome  bound  herself  to  pay  tribute  to  the 
barbarian,  and  undertook  to  furnish  him  with  the  workmen  of 
whom  he  should  have  need. 

Terms  such  as  these  Trajan,  Domitian's  successor,  was  not 
likely  to  fulfill.  He  refused  to  pay  the  tribute,  threw  two  bridges 
over  the  Danube  (not  far  from  the  present  town  of  Orsova), 
crossed  the  river,  and  beat  Decebalus  on  the  plains  of  Temesvar. 
He  then  pushed  on  into  Transylvania,  where  he  forced  Decebalus 
to  fight  a  second  time  under  the  walls  of  his  capital,  Sarmizege- 
thusa.  The  Dacian  king  was  obliged  to  make  peace  and  to  give 
up  the  conquered  territory,  which  included  his  own  capital,  in  loi 
A.D.  Three  years  afterward  he  tried  to  renew  the  war;  once  more 
vanquished,  he  slew  himself,  and  Dacia  became  a  Roman  province. 
The  colonists  whom  Trajan  left  on  the  lower  Danube  are  believed 
to  be  the  forefathers  of  the  Rumanian  nation  of  to-day. 

The  conquest  of  Trajan  marks  the  highest  point  reached  by  the 
Roman  power  in  the  Danube  valley.  From  the  beginning  of  the  sec- 
ond century  onward,  the  German  races,  who  had  been  for  a  time 
kept  back  by  fear  of  the  Romans,  again  invaded  the  country,  and  in 


104-274    A.D. 

the  second  half  of  the  century  the  waves  of  this  vast  flood,  which 
was  by  and  by  to  inundate  the  whole  empire,  began  to  break  over 
the  frontiers.  About  the  year  165  of  our  era  the  barbarians  invaded 
Noricum,  Pannonia,  Rhaetia,  and  penetrated  as  far  as  Aquileia. 
In  the  year  170  a.d.  the  legate  Vindex  sustained  a  defeat  which 
cost  him  no  less  than  20,000  men.  In  175  a.d.,  however,  Marcus 
Aurelius  succeeded  in  stemming  the  invading  torrent,  and  was 
even  able  to  conclude  an  advantageous  peace.  But  two  years 
later  the  Marcomanni  and  Quadi  revolted,  and  Marcus  Aurelius 
died  at  Sirmium,  or,  some  say,  Vindobona,  leading  an  expedi- 
tion against  them.  His  son  Commodus  allowed  the  Vandals  to 
settle  on  the  banks  of  the  upper  Danube,  in  the  lands  which  now 
form  Bavaria  and  Upper  Austria,  and  for  some  years  it  seemed  as 
if  the  main  current  of  invasion  were  going  to  turn  back  upon  the 
upper  Danube  and  the  Main.  But  the  prestige  of  Rome  had  suf- 
fered greatly  and  the  time  had  come  when  emperors  were  made 
and  unmade  by  armies.  Rhaetia  and  Noricum  were  again  at- 
tacked by  the  Marcomanni,  and  part  of  Dacia  was  occupied  by  the 
Goths,  while  the  Gepidae  and  the  Burg^ndians  took  possession  of 
the  northern  parts  of  Transylvania  and  Hungary.  By  274  a.d. 
Rome  was  obliged  to  abandon  the  whole  of  Dacia  to  the  invaders, 
and,  the  Goths  becoming  masters  of  the  entire  province,  they 
founded  a  double  kingdom  on  the  shores  of  the  lower  Danube  and 
the  Black  Sea.  That  of  the  West  Goths  (Visigoths)  included 
Transylvania,  Wallachia,  Moldavia,  and  Bessarabia;  that  of  the 
East  Goths  (Ostrogoths)  lay  between  the  Dniester  and  the 
Dnieper,  on  lands  which  now  form  part  of  Russia.  It  then  seemed 
as  if  the  German  race  were  destined  to  control  in  these  lands  which 
now  belong  to  the  Slavs. 

From  the  first  century  onward  fervent  adherents  of  Chris- 
tianity were  found  on  the  shores  of  the  Adriatic  and  along  the  Save 
and  the  Danube.  According  to  tradition,  St.  Mark  evangelized 
Aquileia,  and  consecrated  as  its  first  bishop  St.  Hermagoras,  whose 
name  is  still  popular  among  the  Slovenes.  The  apostle  St.  Luke 
is  said  to  have  preached  in  Dalmatia,  and  Andronicus,  one  of  the 
seventy  disciples  of  Christ,  is  regarded  as  the  first  bishop  of  Sir- 
miuiiL  However  that  may  be,  at  the  beginning  of  the  fourth  cen- 
tury Christian  communities  and  an  organized  clergy  were  to  be 
found  in  all  the  large  towns  of  Rhaetia,  Noricum,  Pannonia,  and 
Dalmatia.    Under  Diocletian  these  communities  were  especially  re- 

ROMAN    AND    GERMAN  110 

J74-375  A.D. 

markable  for  the  fervor  of  their  faith  and  the  constancy  of  their 
martyrs.  By  the  edict  of  Milan  Constantine  guaranteed  the  free 
exercise  of  their  rehgion  to  the  Christians,  and  the  church  was  able 
to  organize  itself  openly.  In  the  course  of  the  fourth  century 
Aquileia  and  Sirmium  became  the  seats  of  archbishops,  to  whom 
the  neighboring  bishops  were  subject.  At  Sirmium,  in  380  a.d., 
and  at  Aquileia,  in  381  a.d.,  were  held  councils  in  which  the  doc- 
trines of  Arius,  which  had  made  great  progress  in  Pannonia,  were 

During  the  reign  of  Constantine  bands  of  Sarmatians  led  by 
their  king,  Rausimond,  came  from  the  borders  of  the  Sea  of  Azov, 
settled  themselves  on  the  banks  of  the  lower  Danube,  and  repeatedly 
ravaged  the  Roman  provinces  from  319  to  322  a.d.  The  emperor 
repulsed  them.  Later  on  the  Sarmatians  sought  help  from  Rome, 
and  Constantine  helped  them  to  repulse  the  Goths.  Later  still  we 
find  a  band  of  Jazyges,  chased  by  the  Sarmatians,  crossing  the 
Danube  and  settling  themselves  as  guests  and  colonists  in  Thrace 
and  Macedonia.  From  this  time  the  slow  but  steady  infiltration  of 
these  barbarians  continued,  until  the  great  invasion  of  the  Slavs, 
Avars,  and  Hungarians.  Under  Constantius,  in  356  a.d.,  the 
Alemanni,  Quadi,  and  Sarmatians  ravaged  Rhaetia  and  Pannonia, 
but  were  repulsed  with  heavy  loss. 

In  364  a.d.  Valentinian,  a  Pannonian,  was  chosen  emperor. 
He  divided  the  empire  with  his  brother  Valens,  himself  keeping  the 
three  prefectures  of  the  West,  with  Milan  and  Sirmium  as  his  capi- 
tals, while  Valens  took  the  East  and  resided  at  Constantinople. 
Both  had  great  difficulty  in  keeping  back  the  Goths.  Valentinian 
repelled  their  attack  upon  Pannonia,  but  Sirmium  was  hard  pressed, 
and  before  his  death,  in  375  a.  d.,  the  Western  emperor  was  in  a 
treaty  with  them. 

Thanks  to  the  great  strength  of  her  organization  and  to  the 
influence  of  Christianity  and  civilization,  Rome  had  hitherto  been 
able  to  restrain  and  absorb  the  races  which  pressed  her  on  so  many 
sides.  But  to  these  was  now  added  a  new  element,  hitherto  un- 
known in  Europe,  endowed  with  formidable  energy,  well  disci- 
plined, and  more  to  be  dreaded  than  all  other  barbarians.  The 
Hims  had  long  lived  on  the  great  plains  between  the  Don  and  the 
Caspian.  In  the  year  of  Valentinian's  death  they  attacked  their 
neighbors,  the  Ostrogoths,  crossed  the  Dniester  into  the  kingdom 
of  the  Visigoths,  and  forced  them  back  upon  the  Danube.    After 


875-493    A.D. 

the  destruction  of  the  two  kingdoms  of  the  Goths  the  Huns  occu- 
pied the  whole  of  the  country  between  the  Dnieper  and  the  Dan- 
ube; they  next  crossed  the  latter  stream  and  took  possession  of  a 
part  of  Pannonia.  Their  invasions  had  driven  away  the  various 
races  whom  they  had  met  on  the  road,  but  in  the  perpetual  changes 
of  this  epoch  they  had  no  time  to  form  new  states.  Thence  they 
pushed  on  to  the  attack  of  Italy.  On  the  death  of  Theodosius, 
in  395  A.D.,  the  empire  was  finally  divided  between  his  sons  Honor- 
ius  and  Arcadius.  The  two  rival  divisions  quarreled,  and  the 
Huns  made  use  of  these  quarrels  to  offer  their  services  to  the  one 
who  paid  them  best.  The  Emperor  Theodosius  H.  was  obliged 
to  give  them  an  annual  tribute  of  350,  afterward  increased  to  700, 
pounds  of  gold. 

In  the  year  437  a.d.  the  command  of  the  Huns  fell  to  Attila, 
or  Etzel,  whom  the  Middle  Ages  called,  in  their  terror,  the  Scourge 
of  God.  He  united  his  people  more  closely,  and  led  them  on  ter- 
rible ravaging  expeditions  against  Pannonia,  Moesia,  Thrace,  and 
Macedonia,  before  invading  Italy  and  Gaul.  In  447  a.  d.  the  em- 
pire abandoned  Sirmium  to  him,  and  undertook  to  pay  him  a  heavy 
tribute.  His  two  expeditions  into  Italy  and  Gaul  are  well  known. 
He  returned  to  die  in  his  camp  between  the  Danube  and  the  Theiss. 
The  Hungarians,  who  belong  to  the  same  family  of  nations  as 
the  Huns,  regard  Attila  as  one  of  their  most  renowned  heroes. 
Some  of  their  historians  praise  him  enthusiastically.  To  this  day 
the  "  Attila  "  is  the  national  dress  of  the  Magyar  nobleman. 

The  empire  of  Attila  did  not  outlive  him;  his  sons  were  un- 
able to  defend  it  against  the  Germans,  and  the  Huns  were  forced 
back  to  the  shores  of  the  Black  Sea.  The  Ostrogoths  remained 
masters  of  Pannonia;  the  Visigoths  and  the  Gepidae  of  the  basin 
of  the  Theiss  and  of  Transylvania.  But  Italy,  and  Rome  itself, 
was  the  goal  of  these  German  invaders,  and  before  them  the  Roman 
empire  was  soon  to  disappear:  the  Ostrogoths  of  Pannonia  pressed 
on  into  Moesia,  and,  in  476  a.d.,  Odoacer  destroyed  the  empire 
of  the  West. 

Thcodoric  took  possession  of  Italy  in  493  and  extended  his 
rule  over  Dalmatia,  Noricum,  and  Rhaetia.  The  Germans  who 
were  settled  in  the  latter  province  recognized  his  authority;  but 
for  them  the  country  would  have  contained  nothing  but  ruins.  In 
the  following  century  Justinian  avenged  the  Western  empire,  and 
reconquered  these  provinces,  together  with  Italy.     A  new  people, 


493-565  A.D. 

the  Lombards,  had  lent  him  aid  in  these  expeditions,  and  were 
settled  by  him  in  Pannonia  and  Noricum,  which  they  had  to  de- 
fend against  the  Gepidae.  Their  king,  Alboin,  sought  allies  in  this 
struggle  among  the  Avars,  a  people  akin  to  the  Huns,  and  with 
their  help  drove  out  the  Gepidae  in  565  a.d.  Soon  after,  the  emi- 
gration of  the  Lombards  into  Italy  left  these  Avars  sole  masters 
of  the  Danubian  territory.  With  this  emigration  of  the  Lombards 
into  Italy  the  ceaseless  wanderings  of  the  German  races  over  the 
Danubian  lands  come  to  an  end.  Like  successive  tidal  waves 
they  had  passed  over  the  region,  destroying  all  traces  of  Roman 
culture  and  civilization,  but  at  no  time  remaining  long  enough  to 
establish  an  empire  of  their  own.  One  or  two  fertile  districts  only, 
the  Tyrol  with  its  valleys  and  mountains,  Salzburg,  and  Upper 
Austria,  tempted  some  to  remain  behind  in  the  forward  movement 
upon  Rome.  The  Avars  might  have  been  able  to  found  some- 
thing more  lasting ;  but  as  the  Germans  retired  they  were  followed 
by  a  new  migration,  which  was  to  have  a  great  permanent  effect 
upon  the  cotmtries  of  the  Elbe  and  the  Danube,  that  of  the  Slavs. 

Chapter    III 

THE  SLAVS.    450-650 

NOTWITHSTANDING  the  extensive  historical  research 
of  the  present  century,  the  origin  of  the  Slav  races  is 
still  wrapped  in  mystery.  Whole  series  of  conjectures, 
based  on  philological  inductions,  have  been  made.  One  fact  only  is 
certain ;  it  is  that  the  Slavs,  when  they  first  appear  in  history,  are  not 
a  conquering  race,  broken  up  into  separate  tribes.  They  occupied 
the  immense  plains  which  stretch  behind  the  Carpathians,  the  Vis- 
tula, and  the  Dnieper;  and  they  long  remained  unknown.  They 
had  no  Caesar  like  the  Gauls,  no  Tacitus  like  the  Germans,  to  relate 
their  history  or  write  their  annals.  All  we  can  say  is  that  gradually 
as  the  Germans  advanced  southward  and  westward,  the  Slavs  oc- 
cupied the  lands  they  abandoned,  pushing  forward  even  into  the 
country  between  the  Elbe  and  the  Oder. 

At  an  unknown  date,  but  doubtless  toward  the  middle  of  the 
fifth  century,  a  branch  of  the  Slavs,  the  Czechs,  left  Galicia  proper 
and  penetrated  into  the  mountain  quadrilateral  now  known  as 
Bohemia.  History  finds  but  little  that  is  true  among  the  legends 
that  are  told  of  this  migration.  But  they  are  cherished  by  the 
Czech  nation,  and  play  so  great  a  part  in  the  struggle  for  existence 
which  even  to-day  it  is  carrying  on,  that  they  must  be  given  more 
than  a  passing  notice.  According  to  these  traditions  there  were 
three  brothers,  Cech,  Lech,  and  Rous.  Lech,  at  the  head  of  the 
Slav  tribe,  quitted  the  home  of  his  race,  reached  Bohemia,  and 
there  gave  his  name  to  a  new  land.  From  the  next  brother,  Cech, 
tradition  derives  the  name  of  the  race,  though  why  no  one  has 
yet  been  able  to  explain.  Curiously  enough,  the  Latin  chroniclers 
of  the  Middle  Ages  were  altogether  ignorant  of  this  name,  and  per- 
sisted in  calling  the  people  who  bore  it  Bohemians,  because  they 
occupied  the  land  once  held  by  the  Boii. 

The  Slavs  of  Moravia,  no  doubt,  soon  followed  in  the  track  of 
their  kinsfolk;  then  came  those  Slavs  who  had  hitherto  remained 


THE     SLAVS  19 


behind  the  Carpathians,  but  who  now  gradually  invaded,  first  Upper 
Hungary  and  Lower  Austria,  and  then  Wallachia,  Moldavia,  and 
Transylvania,  where  they  blended  with  the  few  remaining  Dacians 
and  Roman  colonists,  and  formed  the  first  elements  of  the  Ru- 
manian nation.  Although  the  history  of  these  Slav  migrations 
remains  obscure,  they  seem  to  have  had  a  distinct  character  of  their 
own  which  distinguishes  them  from  the  German  migrations. 

The  Germans  had  invaded  countries  which  had  been  occupied 
by  the  Romans  and  ruled  over  peoples  whom  they  found  there ;  the 
Slavs,  on  the  other  hand,  took  possession  of  the  lands  which  the 
Germans  had  abandoned.  They  had  no  need  to  do  so  by  force  of 
arms;  their  invasion  was  entirely  peaceful.  But  they  were  not 
long  allowed  to  remain  in  tranquil  possession  of  the  lands  they  had 
so  easily  gained;  they  were  obliged  to  defend  them  against  the 
most  pitiless  enemies.  The  Avars  first  conquered  the  Slav  tribe 
of  the  Dudlebes  in  Galicia;  then,  led  by  their  chagan,  the  terrible 
Bajan,  a  new  Attila,  they  crossed  the  Carpathians  and  conquered 
the  Slavs  of  Moravia  and  Bohemia.  During  these  invasions  the 
Slavs  had  to  suffer  from  the  Avars  what  the  Germans  had  pre- 
viously had  to  bear  from  the  Huns.  The  plains  of  Hungary,  lying 
between  the  Danube  and  the  Theiss,  became  the  seat  of  the  Avar 
power,  and  large  fortified  camps,  called  brings,  protected  the  in- 
vaders against  attack.  The  Slavs  had  to  pay  them  tribute,  furnish 
them  with  soldiers,  and  at  times  submit  to  being  transplanted  from 
one  district  to  another. 

It  was  thus  that  Pannonia  and  Noricum  were  peopled  by  Slav 
colonists,  who  became  the  ancestors  of  the  Slovenes.  These  Avar- 
ized  Slavs,  if  one  may  so  call  them,  came  down  as  far  as  Friuli, 
where  their  descendants  are  to  be  found  to  this  day,  speaking  a 
language  which  still  bears  traces  of  some  Altaic  influence.  Those 
who  were  settled  in  the  valley  of  the  Ems  and  of  the  Mur  became 
known  as  Carinthian  Slavs. 

Sure  of  the  obedience  and  help  of  the  Slavs,  Bajan  next  ven- 
tured to  attack  the  Eastern  empire,  conquered  Sirmia,  in  584  a.d., 
and  made  it  the  base  of  operations  against  Byzantium,  and,  later 
on,  against  Dalmatia  and  Istria.  In  599  he  reached  Constantinople 
and  might  have  taken  it  had  not  a  pestilence  broken  out  in  his 
army.  This  second  Attila  died  in  603.  Quarrels  broke  out  among 
his  heirs.  The  Slavs  who  had  been  conquered  demanded  their 
freedom,  and  prepared   for  revolt,   and  it  was  at  this   moment 



that  a  mysterious  person,  known  as  Samo  the  Merchant,  first 

He  is  said  by  Fredegar  to  have  been  a  Frank,  who  had  come  to 
trade  among  the  Slavs,  A  later  writer,  an  anonymous  historian  of 
the  conversion  of  the  Bavarians  and  Carinthians,  calls  him  a  Ca- 
rinthian  Slav;  but  his  nationality  is  left  uncertain  by  all  authentic 
documents.  But  whatever  his  nationality  was,  Slav,  Frank,  or 
Roman,  he  made  common  cause  with  the  people,  who  offered  him 
their  leadership ;  his  rule  spread  over  all  the  tribes  of  the  Wends  and 
Slavs,  and,  says  Fredegar,  "  for  five  and  twenty  years  he  governed 
them  happily.  In  his  reign  the  Wends  fought  several  battles 
against  the  Huns,  and  owing  to  his  prudence  and  courage  were 
always  victorious.  Samo  had  twelve  wives  chosen  from  the  nation 
of  the  Wends,  and  had  twenty-two  sons  and  fifteen  daughters." 
Gradually  Samo  became  so  dangerous  a  neighbor  to  the  Franks  that 
there  could  not  fail  to  be  a  collision.  "  In  the  year  630  the  Slavs," 
writes  Fredegar,  "  slew  a  number  of  Frankish  merchants  in  the 
kingdom  of  Samo,  and  stripped  them  of  their  goods.  Thus  began 
the  quarrel  between  Dagobert  and  Samo.  Dagobert  sent  Sicarius 
to  this  king  to  ask  for  justice.  Samo  did  not  wish  to  see  Sicarius, 
and  would  not  allow  him  to  enter  his  presence,  but  Sicarius  man- 
aged to  get  to  him  disguised  in  the  dress  of  a  Slav,  and  delivered  the 
message  he  bore  from  Dagobert.  Samo,  however,  would  repair 
none  of  the  wrongs  committed,  saying  only  that  he  intended  to 
have  the  matter  tried  so  that  justice  might  be  done  both  in  these 
matters  and  in  others  that  had  arisen.  The  enraged  envoy  had 
recourse  to  threats,  and  declared  that  Samo  and  his  people  owed 
submission  to  the  king  of  the  Franks.  Samo  replied  angrily,  *  The 
land  we  dwell  in  is  Dagobert's  and  we  are  his  men,  but  only  so  long 
as  he  lives  in  friendliness  with  us.'  Sicarius  answered,  *  It  is  not 
possible  for  the  Christian  servants  of  God  to  be  the  friends  of 
dogs,'  on  which  Samo  replied,  '  If  you  are  the  servants  of  God, 
we  are  the  dogs  of  God;  and  because  you  continually  go  against 
His  will,  we  have  received  permission  from  Him  to  rend  you  with 
our  teeth,'  and  ordered  Sicarius  to  be  driven  from  his  presence." 
Dagobert  declared  war  on  Samo,  and  made  an  alliance  with  the 
Lombards.  He  attacked  the  Czechs,  while  the  Lombards  made 
war  on  the  Slovenes.  Samo  collected  his  forces  at  Wogastiburg, 
on  the  western  frontier  of  Bohemia,  and  there  fought  a  three  days' 
battle,  in  which,  as  Fredegar  himself  confesses,  the  Franks  were 



cut  to  pieces.    They  returned  to  their  own  country,  leaving  behind 
them  in  their  flight  even  their  tents  and  baggage. 

This  success  increased  the  fame  of  Samo,  and  a  prince  of  the 
Slavs  of  the  Elbe  district  placed  himself  and  his  tribe  under  his  pro- 
tection. But  Samo  died  in  658,  and  then  his  power  crumbled  to 
pieces;  the  Slav  chiefs  would  recognize  no  central  power,  and 
anarchy  once  more  reigned  among  them.  Modern  Slav  historians 
are  inclined  to  exaggerate  the  importance  of  this  mysterious  per- 
sonage, Samo;  they  wish  to  see  in  him  the  first  representative  of 
that  Slav  unity  which  they  are  able  only  to  guess  at  in  the  past  or 
dream  of  for  the  future.  But  Samo  possessed  true  political  genius 
and  a  talent  for  organization,  which  appear  to  have  been  foreign 
to  the  race  in  the  earlier  ages  of  its  history,  and  which  would  seem 
to  prove  that  he  was  not  a  Slav.  He  might  have  played  the  same 
part  in  the  history  of  the  Slavs  of  the  Danube  as  Rurik  in  that  of 
primitive  Russia. 

The  conquests  of  Samo  had  not,  however,  completely  de- 
stroyed the  power  of  the  Avars.  Shut  in  by  him  on  the  West,  they 
had  turned  with  all  the  more  vigor  against  the  Eastern  empire,  and 
attacked  Constantinople.  Heraclius,  however,  threatened  on  one 
side  by  the  Avars,  on  the  other  by  the  Moslems,  determined  to 
repeople  the  desert  countries  of  the  Adriatic  and  the  Save  by  set- 
tling in  them  new  races  who  would  have  to  defend  the  lands  occu- 
pied by  them,  and  who  would  doubtless  become  converts  to  the 
Christian  faith. 

Which  race  should  be  chosen?  Naturally  he  turned  to  that 
which  had  been  subdued  and  shamefully  ill-treated  by  the  Avars; 
and  two  Slav  peoples,  the  Croats  and  the  Servians,  became  the  in- 
struments of  the  imperial  policy.  They  had  settled  themselves 
north  of  the  Carpathian  Mountains,  where  they  were  continually 
menaced  by  the  Germans  and  the  Mongols.  Proposals  were  first 
made  to  the  Croats,  and  one  tribe  answered  to  the  appeal ;  Heraclius 
sent  them  to  attack  Dalmatia.  The  Avars,  taken  by  surprise,  were 
everywhere  forced  to  retreat,  and  a  war,  lasting  a  few  years,  ended 
in  the  destruction  of  a  large  part  of  the  Avar  population  and  the 
enslavement  of  the  rest.  Heraclius  then  turned  to  the  Servians, 
and  induced  one  of  the  chiefs  of  that  nation  to  bring  half  the 
tribes  from  the  north  of  the  Danube  to  settle  in  parts  of  Thessa- 
lonica.  Discontented,  however,  with  his  lot,  this  chief  returned 
home;  but  the  prospect  of  a  struggle  with  the  Avars  made  him 



wiser  and  less  exacting.  He  implored  pardon,  and  appealed  to  the 
kindness  of  the  emperor,  who  granted  him  the  deserted  districts 
of  upper  Moesia,  lower  Dacia,  and  Dardania. 

Thus  were  estabHshed  on  the  ruins  of  the  Avar  race  two  new 
nations,  who  founded  flourishing  states,  which,  in  spite  of  various 
vicissitudes,  have  lasted  to  our  day.  We  have  no  certain  informa- 
tion of  the  date  of  this  migration,  but  it  appears  to  have  taken 
place  about  the  year  635  or  638.  In  their  own  tongue  these  two 
races  were  called  Serbi  and  Hervati.  The  land  they  occupied  was 
roughly  marked  out  by  the  Adriatic,  on  the  west,  and  by  the  three 
rivers,  the  Drin  to  the  south,  the  Save  to  the  north,  and  the  Morava 
to  the  east.  The  frontier  between  the  Servians  and  the  Croats 
was  uncertain  and  fluctuating,  and  their  language  was  similar; 
the  differences  which  exist  between  them  at  the  present  day  have 
been  produced  largely  by  historical  events.  To  the  one  race  Chris- 
tianity came  from  Rome,  to  the  other  from  Byzantium;  Latin 
became  the  language  of  the  church  of  the  former,  while  that  of 
the  latter  remained  faithful  to  the  Slav  idiom.  This  history  of 
the  two  peoples  reflects  the  struggle  between  the  two  ecclesiastical 

There  had  remained  in  Dalmatia  a  Roman  element  which  the 
Avars  had  not  completely  destroyed.  This  now  receded  before 
the  new  colonists,  taking  refuge  in  the  islands  and  towns  on  the 
coasts.  When  the  Croats  freed  themselves  from  the  nominal  suze- 
rainty of  Byzantium,  these  islands  and  towns  still  continued  in 
their  allegiance  to  it.  And  down  to  the  present  day  the  old  Roman 
tradition,  kept  alive  by  Italian  influence,  survives  in  the  region. 

The  emperor  and  the  Pope  lost  no  time  in  converting  the 
new  colonists  to  Christianity,  and  were  able  to  do  so  with  greater 
ease  than  might  have  been  expected.  In  the  space  of  about  five 
and  twenty  years  the  Croats  had  become  Christians,  and  Spalato 
was  their  first  metropolis.  The  Croats  of  the  Save  cannot  have 
been  converted  so  early  as  those  of  Dalmatia ;  they  were  still  occu- 
pied with  their  struggles  against  the  Franks  and  Avars,  and  when 
they  accepted  Christianity  it  came  to  them  from  the  distant  church 
of  Aquileia. 

The  series  of  Slav  migrations  into  the  lands  now  forming  the 
Austro-Hungarian  state  closes  with  the  arrival  of  the  Croats  and 
Servians.  These  migrations  were  distinguished,  as  we  have  already 
remarked,  by  their  peaceable  character.     The  Slavs  did  not  rush 



down  on  the  cultivated  lands,  attracted  by  the  riches  of  soil,  by  the 
thirst  for  conquest,  or  the  mildness  of  the  climate.  Their  advances 
were  made  peaceably,  and  they  usually  took  possession  of  those 
districts  which  had  been  abandoned  by  their  inhabitants.  De- 
scending from  their  home  on  the  farther  side  of  the  Carpathians, 
from  the  valleys  of  the  Danube  and  the  Vistula,  they  took  the  place 
of  the  Marcomanni  in  Bohemia,  of  the  Heruli  and  Gepidae  in  Mo- 
ravia. Sometimes,  like  the  Slovenes,  who  peopled  Carinthia  and 
Camiola,  they  allowed  themselves  to  be  enrolled  in  the  armies  of 
their  conquerors;  sometimes,  like  the  Servians  and  the  Croats, 
they  simply  occupied  lands  which  had  been  offered  to  them.  No- 
where do  we  find  among  them  the  spirit  of  pillage,  the  love  of  con- 
quest; nowhere,  except  in  the  case  of  Samo,  do  we  find  any  idea 
of  a  powerful  organization  founded  either  on  the  unity  of  race  or 
on  religious  ideas.  At  the  time  we  have  now  reached,  that  is  to  say, 
about  the  middle  of  the  seventh  century,  they  possessed  almost 
the  whole  of  the  present  Austria-Hungary — the  valley  of  the  Elbe, 
the  central  valley  of  the  Danube,  and  the  shore  of  the  Adriatic. 
These  lands  they  defended  against  the  Avars  and  the  Germans, 
until  the  arrival  from  the  steppes  of  the  Ural  of  the  Magyar,  who 
introduced  an  entirely  new  and  unexpected  element  into  these 

As  we  have  just  seen,  the  valleys  of  the  Dnieper  and  the  Vis- 
tula seem  to  have  been  the  cradle  of  the  Slavic  race.  The  name 
which  we  now  give  to  the  Slavs  was  not  originally  borne  by  the 
whole  race;  it  belonged  only  to  the  northern  tribes  living  in  the 
Russia  of  to-day,  toward  the  Valdai  plateau.  Those  Slavs  who 
lived  near  the  Carpathians  were  called  Serbs.  The  importance  of 
this  name  will  strike  us  if  we  recall  the  frequent  mention  of  the 
Sorabes  in  German  history ;  it  is  still  borne  by  the  Servians  of  Tur- 
key, and  by  their  distant  kinsmen  in  Saxon  and  Prussian  Lusatia. 
The  dialects  spoken  at  Bautzen  and  at  Belgrade  are  so  different 
that  two  Slavs  from  these  two  towns,  brought  suddenly  face  to 
face,  would  be  unable  to  understand  each  other,  and  yet  both  call 
themselves  Serbi.  History  has  more  or  less  incorrectly  preserved 
the  names  of  a  large  number  of  Slav  tribes  which  it  is  unnecessary 
here  to  enumerate.  On  the  other  hand,  it  must  not  be  forgotten 
that  the  Germans,  in  the  Latin  chronicles,  give  to  the  Slavs  the 
name  of  Wends. 

The  constitution  of  the  family  among  the  Slavs,  if  we  may 




judge  from  written  testimony  and,  in  cases  even,  from  the  examples 
still  to  be  seen,  was  entirely  patriarchal.  The  family  lived  in  com- 
mon around  its  chief  or  elder  (staresphina) .  The  men  cultivated 
the  ground,  the  women  were  occupied  with  domestic  work.  The 
elder  represented  all  tribal  interests,  offered  sacrifices  to  the  gods, 
and  apportioned  to  each  his  share  of  labor.  The  members  of  the 
tribe  all  bore  the  same  name,  which  was  taken  from  that  of  its 



Roman  Empire  I 

founder.  This  name  always  ended  in  id,  pronounced  itsi,  a  ter- 
mination which  still  plays  a  great  part  in  the  geographical  names; 
for  example,  the  descendants  of  Lobek  were  called  Lobkovici, 
whence  Lobkowitz,  the  name  of  a  family  well  known  in  Bohemian 
history.  Family  names  sometimes  became  those  of  villages  they  in- 
habited. When  a  family  grew  too  large  it  sent  out  colonies,  which 
in  their  turn  took  the  name  of  their  leaders,  and  founded  new  com- 
munities.   The  union  of  a  certain  number  of  families  constituted 

THE     SLAVS  «6 


a  tribe.  Frequently  the  tribe  took  its  name  from  some  feature  of 
the  land  it  inhabited ;  thus  the  Poles  were  the  dwellers  of  the  plain 
(pole)  ;  the  Rietchanes  were  dwellers  by  the  stream  (rieka)  ;  the 
Drevlianes  the  inhabitants  of  the  forest  {drevo,  wood).  Occa- 
sionally it  was  taken  from  some  pursuit  practiced  by  the  tribe,  as 
the  Roudnici,  the  miners.  The  common  interests  of  the  tribes  were 
discussed  in  meetings  of  the  heads  of  the  families.  The  chief  filled 
all  the  most  important  offices;  he  was  priest,  judge,  and  leader  of 
the  armies.  Among  the  Slavs  the  love  of  liberty  seems  to  have  been 
stronger  than  any  wish  for  law  or  order.  Procopius  says,  "  They 
are  not  governed  by  a  single  man,  but  live  as  a  democracy."  They 
are  without  government  and  hate  one  another,"  said  the  Emperor 
Maurice.  The  well-known  saying  of  Tacitus  may  be  applied  to 
them,  "  I  love  rather  a  dangerous  freedom  than  a  peaceful  slav- 
ery." How  many  troubles  have  come  upon  Poland  from  the  cus- 
tom of  the  liherum  veto,  that  is,  the  necessity  that  every  decision  of 
the  diet  should  be  taken  on  a  unanimous  vote,  one  single  opposing 
voice  paralyzing  all  legislation!  Traces  of  this  custom  are  to  be 
found  in  other  Slavonic  peoples. 

Each  tribe  had  a  fortified  enclosure,  which  was  used  as  a 
place  of  shelter,  or  as  a  basis  of  attack  in  time  of  war.  This  was 
called  grad  (the  strong),  and  this  word  is  still  to  be  found  in  that 
of  some  German  towns,  which  were  at  first  Slavonic  and  were  then 
gradually  Germanized,  as  the  town  of  Gratz  in  Styria.  The  names 
of  towns,  rivers,  and  tribes,  and  of  the  features  of  the  ground  were 
almost  identical  in  all  Slavonic  lands,  however  widely  separated 
from  one  another. 

Gradually  tribes  were  united,  sometimes  as  a  means  of  self- 
defense,  sometimes  as  the  result  of  war,  which  resulted  in  the  sub- 
mission of  the  conquered.  Thus  nations  were  formed;  thus  the 
Czechs  took  possession  of  the  whole  of  Bohemia ;  thus  the  Russians 
of  Novgorod  came  at  last  to  give  their  name  to  an  immense  empire. 
With  the  birth  of  nations  came  that  of  monarchy,  which  ended  by 
becoming  the  monopoly  of  a  ruling  family,  and  national  dynasties 
were  founded.  But  to  the  Slavs  the  idea  of  equality  was  too  dear 
to  allow  monarchical  institutions  to  develop  easily.  The  mem- 
bers of  the  royal  family  obtained  appanages  on  which  they  main- 
tained the  greatest  independence,  and  hence  the  internal  wars  of 
which  the  history  of  the  early  Slavonic  monarchies  is  so  full.  The 
idea  of  the  right  of  primogeniture  had  not  yet  appeared. 



As  we  have  already  stated,  the  first  Slavs  were  not  conquerors, 
but  rather  cultivators  of  the  soil.  The  very  nature  of  the  vast 
plains  on  which  they  dwelt  directed  their  efforts  and  led  them  to 
cultivate  com  and  raise  cattle.  They  seem  to  have  had  little  taste 
for  life  among  mountains;  to  have  early  learned  the  use  of  agri- 
cultural tools,  such  as  the  plow  and  spade ;  to  have  kept  bees,  and  to 
have  known  how  to  make  beer  and  hydromel. 

The  comparative  study  of  the  Slav  dialects  enables  us  to  guess 
what  degree  of  perfection  the  domestic  arts  had  reached.  The 
words  common  to  all  or  most  of  the  dialects  are  sufficient  to  show 
that  the  Slavs  not  only  cultivated  the  ground,  but  that  they  knew 
how  to  practice,  no  doubt  in  clumsy  fashion,  some  industries  which 
are  unknown  to  savage  peoples.  They  were  acquainted  with  iron 
and  the  commoner  tools  which  are  made  of  it;  with  gold,  silver, 
copper,  and  utensils  wrought  out  of  these  metals;  they  knew  how 
to  weave  vestments  of  linen,  and  even  glass  was  to  be  found  among 
them.  It  is  possible  that  some  among  them  were  acquainted  with 
a  rude  kind  of  writing.  "  They  read  and  calculated  with  strokes 
and  notches,"  says  an  ancient  witness. 

They  knew  how  to  make  war,  though  they  cared  little  for 
fighting.  We  have  already  learned  that  they  built  fortified  enclo- 
sures to  defend  their  frontiers.  They  knew  how  to  use  the  sword, 
the  lance,  the  bow,  the  helmet,  and  the  shield.  Among  them  con- 
quering tribes  were  rare,  and  the  old  historians  speak  of  their  peace- 
ful habits.  They  tell  us  that  they  were  kind,  industrious,  hospitable, 
chaste,  and  passionately  fond  of  music  and  song.  Their  women 
were  held  in  respect,  and  were  chosen  sometimes  to  lead  the  fam- 
ily, the  tribe,  and  even  the  nation.  Polygamy  was  met  with  occa- 
sionally, but  it  was  the  exception.  They  had  laws,  tribunals,  and 
trials  by  ordeal;  at  the  same  time  private  revenge,  such  as  exists 
to-day  in  Corsica  and  Montenegro,  appears  to  have  had,  among  the 
early  Slavs,  all  the  force  of  an  institution  sanctioned  by  custom. 

They  had  a  religious  system  of  their  own  considerably  devel- 
oped, though  it  does  not  seem  to  have  been  of  a  kind  to  produce 
fanaticism.  It  readily  made  way  for  Christianity,  directly  the  new 
faith  came  to  them  by  means  of  friendly  apostles  and  not  through 
conquering  missionaries.  Among  the  Slavs  of  the  Elbe  and  of 
Russia  paganism  developed  into  a  complicated  system,  but  it  would 
take  us  long  to  learn  all  the  gods  of  their  pantheon,  and  we  find 
hardly  any  trace  of  these  divinities  among  the  Slavs  of  Bohemia, 

THE   SLAVS  jrr 


Moravia,  and  Camiola.  Nowhere  would  it  seem  that  they  wor- 
shiped deified  men  or  recognized  a  blind  power  in  fate. 

"  The  religion  of  the  ancient  Slavs,"  says  Jireck,  "  was  a  true 
worship  of  nature.  According  to  them  the  world  was  peopled  with 
superior  beings,  who  were  good  {bozi)  or  bad  (biesi).  The  bozi 
were  the  more  powerful,  and  the  biesi  could  only  act  by  their  per- 
mission. Health,  happiness,  and  victory  were  all  the  work  of  the 
bozi ;  sickness,  wretchedness,  defeat,  were  due  to  the  biesi.  In  the 
winter  time,  however,  the  biesi  got  the  upper  hand.  Sacrifices  and 
vows  were  offered  to  the  gods  to  propitiate  them.  These  beings 
formed  a  vast  society  like  that  of  human  beings;  they  were  all  the 
sons  of  one  greater  than  them  all.  The  highest  god  was  the  god 
of  heaven,  Svarog;  the  sun  and  fire  were  his  sons,  and  together 
bore  the  father's  name  and  were  called  Svarozici.  Among  the  other 
gods  the  more  important  were  Veles,  god  of  flocks,  and  Vesna, 
called  also  Siva  or  Lada,  the  goddess  of  spring  and  of  fruitfulness. 
Among  the  biesi  we  must  mention  Morana,  the  goddess  of  winter 
and  of  death;  Tras,  the  demon  of  terror,  and  Stribog,  the  demon 
of  the  tempest ;  and  among  the  inferior  beings  should  be  mentioned 
the  Vilas,  nymphs,  and  the  Vjedi,  who  dwelt  in  the  air,  and  the 
Jezdibaby,  sorcerers,^  who  dwelt  on  the  earth.  The  eclipses  of  the 
sun  and  moon  were  supposed  to  be  the  work  of  the  Vjedi. 

"  A  belief  in  vampires  was  common  to  all  the  Slavs.  They 
believed  the  soul  to  be  immortal;  after  having  quitted  the  body  it 
flew  from  tree  to  tree  until  the  body  had  been  burned,  and  then  it 
went  to  the  Home  of  Shadows,  which  the  Slavs  called  Nav,  and 
which  they  pictured  to  themselves  as  a  region  of  green  fields  and 
groves.  In  Nav  everyone  occupied  a  position  similar  to  that  which 
he  had  held  during  his  life ;  if  he  died  before  the  other  members  of 
his  family,  he  found  himself  alone  and  deserted.  Hence  arose  the 
custom  of  wives  causing  themselves  to  be  burned  on  the  funeral 
pyres  of  their  husbands.  There  were  also  indications  of  a  belief 
in  a  place  of  sojourn  with  the  biesi,  as  well  as  of  a  home  with  the 

None  of  the  Slav  tribes,  except  those  of  the  Elbe,  had  temples 
or  priests.  The  head  of  the  family  or  of  the  tribe,  the  prince, 
offered  the  sacrifices  to  the  gods,  which  consisted  in  the  burning 
of  animals,  especially  oxen.  The  sacrificial  fire  was  lighted  on 
mountain  tops,  or  other  high  places.  Forests  were  the  usual  places 
of  worship ;  in  them  images  of  the  gods  were  raised,  and  objects  of 



sacrifice  were  placed  under  the  trees.  The  great  festivals  of  the 
year  were  that  of  the  winter  solstice,  when  vast  sacrifices  were 
offered  to  the  gods  of  earth  and  water;  that  of  the  renewal,  when 
Morana  (winter)  was  burned  under  the  form  of  a  manikin,  and 
Vesna  (spring)  was  carried  in  triumph;  and  that  of  the  summer 
solstice,  when  sacrifices  were  offered  to  the  sun  and  to  fire.  Be- 
sides these  there  were  frequent  festivals  during  the  summer  in 
honor  of  the  sun  and  fire,  and  in  commemoration  of  the  dead. 




Chapter    IV 


THE  long  series  of  migrations  which  took  place  on  the  soil 
of  the  future  state  of  Austria-Hungary  does  not  close 
with  the  settlement  of  the  Slavs  in  these  regions.  Two 
other  elements,  the  Magyars  and  the  Germans  from  the  upper  Dan- 
ube, invade  the  land  a  few  centuries  later,  and  between  them 
occupy  both  banks  of  the  Austrian  Danube.  But  the  annals  of  the 
Czechs,  Moravians,  and  their  Slav  relations,  during  the  two  cen- 
turies which  passed  between  the  death  of  Samo,  in  the  seventh  cen- 
tury, and  the  Hungarian  invasion  in  the  ninth,  contain  a  number 
of  interesting  episodes  generally  but  little  known,  but  well  worth 

On  the  death  of  Samo  the  Slav  empire,  which  he  had  so  quickly 
succeeded  in  founding,  broke  into  three  portions:  Bohemia,  within 
well-defined  geographic  boundaries;  Moravia,  including,  besides 
the  province  of  that  name,  the  regions  of  the  middle  Danube ;  and 
the  country  inhabited  by  the  Carinthian  Slavs,  Carinthia,  Camiola, 
the  north  of  Styria,  and  some  parts  of  Lower  Austria. 

The  history  of  these  various  nations  during  the  second  half  of 
the  seventh  and  the  first  half  of  the  eighth  centuries  is  very  ob- 
scure. The  account  of  the  rise  of  Bohemia  in  the  Latin  and  Czech 
chronicles  is  fabulous,  and  only  owes  what  reality  it  possesses  to 
that  religious  faith  in  it  which  patriotism  and  poetry  have  inspired. 
It  is  a  curious  fact  that  Bohemian  legends  know  nothing  of  Samo, 
who  played  so  great  a  part  in  the  annals  of  the  country.  The  first 
prince  mentioned  by  them  is  a  certain  Krok,  who  is  said  to  have 
reigned  in  the  second  half  of  the  seventh  century.  Krok  had  three 
daughters,  who  are  still  dear  to  popular  memory.  One  of  these, 
Libusa,  on  the  death  of  her  father,  was  chosen  to  rule  his  lands. 
Notwithstanding  that  wisdom  with  which  tradition  endows  her, 
she  felt  herself  too  weak  to  govern  a  turbulent  people  alone,  and 
chose  for  her  husband  the  laborer  Premysl  of  Stadice.    Tradition 




Still  points  out  the  field  where  this  Cincinnatus  of  the  Slavs  re- 
ceived the  invitation  to  leave  his  plow,  and  where  at  the  beginning 
of  the  last  century  a  monument  was  raised  to  him.  Premysl  be- 
came the  founder  of  a  royal  dynasty  which  ruled  over  Bohemia 
down  to  the  year  1306.  The  chroniclers  praise  his  wisdom  and  that 
of  his  wife,  Libusa,  and  to  her  they  attribute  the  founding  of 
Prague,  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Moldau.  The  German  annals 
supply  us  with  a  few  facts.  In  the  year  791  the  Czechs  allied  them- 
selves with  Charles  the  Great  against  the  Avars;  about  the  year 
806  the  Franks  invaded  Bohemia  with  three  armies,  and  forced  the 
inhabitants  to  pay  tribute;  in  845  fourteen  Bohemian  nobles  were 
baptized  at  Regensburg.  But  Bohemian  history  really  begins  with 
the  reign  of  Borivoj,  who  was  baptized  toward  the  end  of  the  ninth 
century.  Christianity  had  made  very  little  progress  for  three  cen- 
turies, largely,  it  is  supposed,  because  the  Czechs  had  had  many  a 
struggle  with  the  Germans,  and  would  be  little  inclined  to  receive 
kindly  the  Gospel  which  came  to  them  through  the  hands  of  German 
apostles;  for,  because  of  the  alliance  between  Charles  the  Great 
and  the  Pope,  Christianity  meant  nothing  but  conquest  and  slavery 
to  the  Slavs.  The  sword  roused  hatred  against  the  cross.  The  ex- 
ample, also,  of  the  Saxons,  and  of  the  Slavs  of  the  Elbe,  was  not 
likely  to  encourage  the  Czechs  to  embrace  the  new  religion.  When, 
however,  it  came  to  them  from  Moravia,  through  the  Slav  mis- 
sionaries, without  any  suspicion  of  conquest,  it  was  easily  able  to 
obtain  over  them  the  salutary  influence  it  had  already  gained  over 
the  races  of  the  west  and  south. 

Less  fortunate  than  Bohemia,  her  neighbor,  Moravia  has  not 
even  a  legendary  history.  Her  name  appears  for  the  first  time  at 
the  beginning  of  the  ninth  century,  under  its  Slav  form,  Morava 
(German  March,  Moehren).  The  first  prince  whose  name  is 
known  was  Moimir,  who  ruled  at  the  beginning  of  the  ninth  cen- 
tury ;  like  the  Czech,  Premysl,  he  gave  his  name  to  a  dynasty.  Dur- 
ing his  reign  Christianity  made  considerable  progress  in  Moravia, 
and  the  oldest  Christian  church  of  which  there  is  any  record  among 
the  Moravians  was  consecrated  at  Nitra  by  the  Archbishop  of  Salz- 
burg. But  in  Moravia  also  it  was  not  until  Christianity  possessed 
a  national  clergy  that  the  new  religion  made  rapid  progress.  The 
people,  as  we  have  already  said,  distrusted  the  German  preachers, 
and,  knowing  no  Latin,  could  neither  understand  the  German  ser- 
mons nor  the  Roman  liturgy.    As  late  as  852  the  council  of  Mainz 




pointed  out  Moravia  as  a  land  still  knowing  little  of  Christianity: 
rudis  adhuc  christianitatis.  Moimir  tried  to  withstand  the  Ger- 
mans, but  was  not  successful ;  and  in  846  Louis  the  German  invaded 
his  country,  deposed  him,  and  made  his  nephew,  Rostislav,  whom 
the  chroniclers  call  Rastiz,  ruler  in  his  stead. 

The  new  prince  determined  to  secure  both  the  political  and 
moral  freedom  of  his  country.  He  fortified  his  frontiers  and  then 
declared  war  against  the  emperor.  He  was  victorious,  and  when 
once  peace  was  secured  he  undertook  the  systematic  conversion  of 
his  people.  Thus  came  about  one  of  the  great  episodes  in  the  his- 
tory of  the  Slavs  and  their  church,  the  mission  of  the  Apostles 
Cyril  and  Methodius. 

The  Slavs  of  the  Danubian  valley  had  already  come  into  con- 
tact with  both  the  great  centers  of  Christianity,  Rome  and  Con- 
stantinople, between  which  the  great  schism  had  not  as  yet 
taken  place.  But  Rome  with  all  her  zeal  could  only  send  to  the 
Slavs  foreign  missionaries,  who  were  either  ignorant  or  distrusted 
by  the  people;  Constantinople,  on  the  contrary,  was  surrounded 
by  Slav  Christians,  who  already  possessed  a  native  clergy.  Ros- 
tislav, therefore,  sent  to  the  Emperor  Michael  IH.,  writing;  "  Our 
people  have  renounced  paganism  and  have  accepted  the  Christian 
faith;  but  we  have  no  master  who  can  preach  to  us  the  Christian 
truths  in  our  tongue.  Send  us  one."  At  that  time  there  were  liv- 
ing at  Constantinople  the  two  brothers  Constantine,  two  priests 
already  celebrated  for  their  knowledge  and  the  success  of  their  mis- 
sion work.  In  the  church  they  were  known  by  the  names  of  Cyril 
and  Methodius.  Were  they  Greeks  or  Slavs?  No  one  knows. 
They  were  born  in  Thessalonica,  a  city  of  many  languages,  and 
their  father  held  there  an  important  office  in  the  state.  They  had 
studied  science  and  languages  and  had  distinguished  themselves 
among  the  most  learned  men  of  the  court  of  Byzantium.  The  one 
had  become  a  monk,  the  other  a  priest,  and  their  reputation  had 
been  increased  by  their  missions  to  the  Arabs  and  the  Khazars. 
Their  success  as  missionaries  was  considered  miraculous,  and  lan- 
guages of  all  kinds  were  familiar  to  them.  Cyril  had  been  named 
the  Philosopher;  Methodius  had  refused  an  archbishopric  offered 
him  by  the  emperor  and  the  patriarch ;  everything  seemed  to  point 
them  out  for  the  post.  They  accepted  the  honorable  office  as  apos- 
tles to  the  Moravians;  and  Cyril  undertook,  before  setting  out  on 
his  mission,  to  create  for  the  Slav  tongue  that  alphabet  which  it  had 



never  yet  possessed,  and  to  which  his  name  is  still  attached  (the 
CyrilHc  alphabet).  He  also  translated  the  New  Testament  into 
Slav  and  carried  his  translation  with  him  into  the  country.  The 
two  brothers  reached  Moravia  at  the  end  of  the  year  863,  or  the 
beginning  of  864,  and  were  received  with  great  honor  by  Rostis- 
lav.  They  soon  gathered  round  them  the  young  men  destined  for 
the  priesthood,  to  whom  they  taught  the  new  alphabet,  while  they 
continued  their  translations  of  the  sacred  books  and  the  liturgy. 
"  Then,"  says  a  Slav  legend,  "  according  to  the  word  of  the  prophet, 
the  ears  of  the  deaf  heard,  and  the  tongue  of  the  dumb  was 

The  names  of  the  new  apostles  and  the  news  of  their  success 
soon  reached  the  ears  of  the  Pope.  He  summoned  them  to  Rome, 
and  they  responded  to  his  call.  As  they  crossed  lower  Pannonia 
they  visited  the  Slav  Prince  Kocel,  who  confided  to  their  care  a 
certain  number  of  young  ecclesiastics.  At  Rome  they  were  received 
with  the  highest  honors;  Pope  Adrian  H.  made  them  bishops  and 
consecrated  as  priests,  deacons,  or  subdeacons  several  of  the  dis- 
ciples they  had  brought  with  them,  besides  authorizing  them  to 
celebrate  the  liturgy  in  the  Slav  tongue,  and  approving  their  trans- 
lation of  the  Scriptures.  Cyril  died  in  Rome  in  February,  869,  and 
was  buried  there.  Methodius  returned  alone  to  his  work,  the  Pope 
having  assigned  to  him,  as  his  diocese,  all  the  Slav  countries,  and 
given  him  a  letter  to  Rostislav  and  his  princely  neighbors,  Svato- 
pluk  and  Kocel.  He  approved  of  the  use  of  the  Slav  liturgy,  but 
recommended  that  the  Gospels  should  be  read  in  Latin,  as  a  sign 
of  the  unity  of  the  church.  On  his  return  from  Rome  Methodius 
again  spent  some  time  at  the  court  of  Kocel  in  Pannonia. 

When  Methodius  once  more  reached  Moravia  Rostislav  was 
no  longer  there  to  receive  him.  After  having  struggled  success- 
fully for  some  time  against  the  Germans,  he  had  been  betrayed  by 
his  nephew  and  vassal,  Svatopluk,  into  the  hands  of  Karloman, 
duke  of  Carinthia  and  son  of  Louis  the  German,  who  put  out  his 
eyes  and  shut  him  up  in  a  monastery.  Svatopluk  believed  himself 
sure  of  the  succession  as  the  price  of  his  treachery,  but  a  very  dif- 
ferent reward  fell  to  his  lot,  as  Karloman,  trusting  but  little  in  his 
fidelity  to  the  Germans,  threw  him  also  into  captivity.  Later  he 
was  released  by  Karloman,  who  hoped  he  would  aid  him  against 
the  revolt  of  the  Moravians.  Instead,  Svatopluk  joined  them  and 
successfully  attacked  the  Germans.    The  independence  of  Moravia 



was  secured,  and,  by  the  Treaty  of  Forcheim,  in  874,  it  was 

The  German  bishops  had  not  seen  without  envy  the  success 
of  Cyril  and  Methodius  and  the  favors  bestowed  on  them  by  the 
Pope.  The  extent  of  their  jurisdiction  and  the  value  of  their 
tithes  had  been  considerably  lessened  by  the  creation  of  the  new 
Slav  diocese.  They  looked  upon  Methodius  as  a  usurper,  and  as 
such  cited  him  before  them  and  imprisoned  him  in  a  convent,  where 
they  kept  him  for  two  years.  From  this  time  the  life  of  Methodius 
was  one  long  struggle  against  the  German  clergy.  They  con- 
stantly intrigued  against  him,  and  endeavored  to  withdraw  from 
him  the  favor  of  the  Pontiff.  He  nevertheless  persisted  in  his 
work,  and  about  874  baptized  the  prince  of  Bohemia,  Borivoj,  and 
by  this  means  introduced  the  Slav  liturgy  into  Bohemia.  Accusa- 
tions against  him  continually  reached  the  Pope ;  now  he  was  accused 
of  heresy,  now  he  was  denounced  for  his  use  of  the  Slav  liturgy; 
and  he  was  but  ill-supported  by  Svatopluk.  He  was  obliged  to  go 
to  Rome  to  defend  himself,  but  came  out  victorious  from  the  trial, 
Pope  John  VHI.  recognizing  his  orthodoxy,  and  once  more  con- 
firming the  privileges  granted  him.  It  would  take  us  too  long  to 
relate  here  how  the  enemies  of  Methodius  substituted  false  docu- 
ments for  those  which  had  been  drawn  up  by  the  Pope  himself. 
Methodius  was  again  obliged  to  appeal  to  the  Pontiff,  who  sanc- 
tioned his  action  in  a  letter  which  was  publicly  read  to  the  assem- 
bled people.  He  passed  the  last  years  of  his  troubled  life  in  com- 
pleting his  translation  of  the  sacred  books,  and  died  in  885.  On 
his  death  his  disciples  had  no  protection  from  the  persecutions  of 
their  enemies,  and  were  forced  to  seek  refuge  among  the  Bul- 
garians, by  whom  they  were  eagerly  welcomed. 

The  departure  of  the  disciples  of  Methodius  completely  dis- 
organized the  Slav  church.  The  German  bishops  of  the  neighbor- 
ing dioceses  drew  up  and  sent  to  the  Pope,  John  IX.,  in  900,  a 
factum  in  which  they  claimed  for  themselves  jurisdiction  over  the 
country  of  the  Moravians,  "  a  country,"  said  they,  "  which  has 
been  subject  to  our  kings  and  our  people  both  as  regards  Christian 
worship  and  the  payment  of  tribute."  "  With  their  will  or  against 
their  will,"  adds  this  evangelical  factum,  "  they  shall  be  subject  to 
us":  sive  velint  sive  nolint,  regno  nostra  subacti  erunt.  These 
controversies,  which  were  so  little  animated  by  the  spirit  of  that 
religion  which  was  their  object,  were  put  an  end  to  in  a  most  un- 



expected  and  bloody  fashion  by  the  invasion  of  the  Magyars. 
Moravia  was  thrown  into  a  state  of  anarchy,  and  the  Slav  liturgy 
perished.  But  few  traces  of  it  can  be  discovered  in  the  history  of 
those  lands  which  gave  it  birth.  Proscribed  in  Moravia,  it  flour- 
ished for  a  time  in  Bulgaria ;  thence  it  passed  to  the  Servians,  Rus- 
sians, and  the  Croats,  and  then  gradually  disappeared. 

At  the  present  time  throughout  the  empire  of  Austria  Latin 
is  the  language  of  the  Catholic  Church.  The  Slav  liturgy  is  used 
only  by  about  three  millions  of  Uniate  Ruthenians  in  Galicia,  three 
millions  of  Servians  and  Rumanians,  and  about  eighty  thousand 
Catholics  on  the  shores  of  the  Adriatic.  Though  they  returned 
more  or  less  willingly  to  the  use  of  the  Latin  liturgy,  the  Slavs  of 
the  Western  rite  have  by  no  means  forgotten  the  great  apostles  of 
their  race;  their  millennium  was  celebrated  in  1863  with  imposing 
solemnity,  and  they  are  still  considered  the  representatives  of  that 
literary  and  religious  unity  of  the  Slavs  which  is  the  dream  of  many. 
Cyril  and  Methodius  deserve  a  far  higher  place  in  religious  history 
than  has  hitherto  been  assigned  to  them.  Their  knowledge,  their 
zeal  for  the  Gospel,  their  indomitable  perseverance,  have  nothing  to 
fear  from  comparison  with  the  apostles  of  Germany. 

But  we  must  return  to  Svatopluk  and  his  ephemeral  empire. 
The  Treaty  of  Forcheim  secured  the  independence  of  Moravia  and 
thenceforward  peace  reigned  between  Svatopluk  and  Louis  the  Ger- 
man. Complete  master  in  his  country,  strong  in  the  power  of  his 
army  and  of  his  Slav-speaking  clergy,  Svatopluk  might  have  put 
himself  forward  as  the  representative  and  defender  of  the  Slavs 
against  the  Germans.  But  he  did  not  appreciate  the  possibilities 
of  such  action.  Instead,  he  showed  a  marked  sympathy  for  the 
Germans  and  invited  them  to  his  court.  While  helping  to  spread 
the  Slav  liturgy  in  his  provinces,  he  himself  made  use  of  the  Roman 
liturgy,  and  thus  opened  the  door  to  the  pretensions  of  the  German 
clergy.  He  began  his  reig^  with  a  crime,  he  ended  it  with  blun- 
ders; he  possessed  great  talents,  but  his  character  was  not  equal 
to  them,  and  his  policy  appears  to  have  been  fortunate  rather  than 
able.  At  one  time  he  was  the  most  powerful  monarch  of  the  Slavs ; 
Rome  was  in  treaty  with  him,  Bohemia  gravitated  toward  Moravia, 
and  Moravia  held  in  check  the  ambitions  of  the  empire.  The  em- 
peror himself,  Charles  the  Fat,  came  to  the  Ostmark  to  try  to  put  an 
end  to  the  struggle  between  Svatopluk  and  Amulf  of  Pannonia,  and 
there  received,  in  884,  a  visit  from  Svatopluk,  who  promised  to 




respect  the  lands  of  the  empire.  In  888  Svatopluk  concluded 
a  treaty  of  friendship  and  alliance  with  Arnulf,  which  was  renewed 
in  891.  At  this  time  the  kingdom  of  Svatopluk  was  a  powerful 
state;  it  included,  besides  the  Moravia  of  to-day,  Austrian  Silesia, 
the  subject  country  of  Bohemia,  the  Slav  tribes  on  the  Elbe  and  the 
Vistula  as  far  as  the  neighborhood  of  Magdeburg,  part  of  western 
Galicia,  the  country  of  the  Slovaks,  and  lower  Pannonia. 

But  two  such  ambitious  men  as  Svatopluk  and  Amulf  could 
not  trust  each  other;  their  friendship  was  based  only  on  mutual 
fear ;  and  as  soon  as  Arnulf  believed  that  he  had  secured  sufficiently 
strong  allies  he  once  more  attacked  Svatopluk.  He  entered  into  an 
alliance  with  Braclav,  a  Slovene  prince,  sought  the  aid  of  the  king 
of  the  Bulgarians,  and,  what  was  of  far  graver  importance,  sum- 
moned to  his  help  the  Magyars,  who  had  just  settled  on  the  lower 
Danube.  Swabians,  Bavarians,  Franks,  Magyars,  and  Slovenes 
moved  simultaneously  upon  Moravia.  Overwhelmed  by  numbers, 
Svatopluk  made  no  attempt  at  resistance:  he  shut  up  his  troops  in 
fortresses,  and  abandoned  the  open  country  to  the  enemy,  who  rav- 
aged it  for  four  weeks.  Then  hostilities  ceased;  but  no  durable 
peace  could  exist  between  the  two  adversaries.  War  again  began 
in  the  following  year,  when  death  freed  Arnulf  from  Svatopluk. 
The  populace,  which  loves  to  surround  its  great  men  with  legendary 
glory,  would  not  believe  that  Svatopluk  had  died  like  any  ordinary 
mortal.  From  the  tenth  century  onward  a  marvelous  story  has 
been  told  of  him.  One  night  the  great  Moravian  chief  left  his 
camp  unobserved,  mounted  his  faithful  steed,  and  gained  the 
wooded  sides  of  Mount  Zobor,  near  Nitra,  where  was  a  well-known 
hermitage.  Here  he  slew  his  horse,  buried  his  sword  in  the  earth, 
presented  himself  before  the  hermits  of  the  mountain,  became  a 
monk,  and  lived  long  without  making  known  his  rank,  which  he 
only  revealed  at  the  moment  of  death.  Through  many  vicissitudes 
his  name  remained  popular  in  Moravia,  and  to  this  day  the  people 
make  use  of  a  proverb,  "  Seek  for  Svatopluk,"  when  they  wish  to 
imply,  "  Seek  for  justice."  Historians  have  criticised  this  prince 
severely,  but  we  must  not  forget  that  almost  all  we  know  of  him  has 
reached  us  through  his  enemies.  "  He  was  a  vessel  of  treachery," 
say  the  annals  of  Fulda ;  "  he  overturned  the  countries  with  his 
greed,  and  thirsted  for  human  blood."  "  He  was  a  man  of  great 
genius  and  great  cleverness,"  writes  Regino.  "  He  was  valiant  and 
strong  and  dreaded  by  his  neighbors,"  says  Constantine  Porphyro- 



genitus.  Modem  Slavonic  writers  give  him  a  high  place  in  the  his- 
tory of  the  race,  and  look  upon  him  as  a  successor  of  Samo,  and 
the  second  great  leader  in  the  cause  of  Slavic  unity  in  the  West. 

At  his  death  he  left  three  sons.  The  eldest,  Moimir  II.,  he 
chose  as  his  heir,  and  assigned  appanages  to  each  of  the  others.  On 
his  deathbed  he  begged  them  to  live  at  peace  with  one  another, 
but  his  advice  was  not  followed.  The  Moravian  kingdom  was  far 
from  forming  a  homogeneous  whole.  Bohemia  refused  to  remain 
a  vassal  state ;  the  Magyars  invaded  Moravian  Pannonia,  and  forced 
Moimir  into  an  alliance  with  them.  Arnulf  fomented  the  discord 
between  Moimir  II.  and  Svatopluk  II. ;  and,  in  the  year  900,  the 
Bavarians,  together  with  the  Czechs,  invaded  Moravia.  In  903  the 
name  of  Moimir  disappears.  Cosmas  of  Prague  shows  us  Moravia 
at  the  mercy  of  Germans,  Czechs,  and  Hungarians;  then  history 
is  silent,  towns  and  castles  crumble,  churches  are  overthrown,  the 
people  scattered.  "  A  mournful  silence  reigns  over  the  universal 
desolation,"  says  the  Czech  historian  Palacky,  "  and  we  know  not 
when  or  how  this  work  of  horror  was  accomplished."  The  brief 
duration  of  the  Moravian  kingdom  has  been  justly  compared  to 
that  of  the  mounds  of  sand  which  are  raised  by  the  breath  of  the 
tempest,  and  by  the  tempest  dispersed.  This  monarchy  of  a  day 
has  not  even  left  ruins  behind  it;  we  hardly  know  the  site  of  the 
capital  of  Svatopluk,  that  marvelous  city  of  Velehrad  (ineffabilis 
mmiitio),  where  Methodius  baptized  the  prince  of  Bohemia.  The 
poetry  of  the  people  alone  remains,  bewailing  the  memory  of  a 
vanished  world : 

"  Hard  by  the  broad  Danube,  hard  by  the  foaming  waves  of 
the  Morava,  ...  bleeds  the  wounded  heart  of  the  Slavs.  O 
land  of  our  noble  fathers !  theater  echoing  to  our  ancient  struggles  f 
thou  liest  entombed  in  thy  vast  expanse;  the  arrow  of  misfortune 
has  pierced  thy  breast.  Thy  time  has  gone  by;  thy  glory  sleeps 
an  internal  sleep.  Thy  sons  find  only  the  shadow  of  their  fathers' 

"  The  sword  of  Moimir  slumbers ;  beneath  ruins  the  helmet  of 
Svatopluk  lies  buried.  Only  once  in  a  long  while  from  this  bosom 
of  forgetfulness  a  memory  flies  to  heaven  in  song. 

"  Nitra,  dear  Nitra !  great  Nitra !  where  are  the  times  of  thy 
prosperity?  Nitra,  dear  Nitra!  thou  mother  of  the  Slavs,  when  I 
think  of  thee,  I  needs  must  weep.  Formerly  thou  wast  the  mother 
of  the  whole  Danube,  the  Vistula,  and  the  Morava.     Thou  wast 



the  throne  of  Svatopluk,  when  his  powerful  hand  ruled ;  thou  wast 
the  holy  city  of  Methodius,  when  he  taught  our  fathers  the  word  of 
God.  Now  is  thy  glory  veiled  in  shadow.  Thus  do  times  change ! 
thus  the  world  passes !  " 

The  Slovenes,  or  Slavs  of  Carinthia  and  Carniola,  were  of 
little  importance  during  these  early  times.  After  the  death  of  Samo 
they  separated  from  the  Czechs,  and  were  able  to  organize  a 
state.  Borut,  their  first  prince  whose  name  is  known,  sought  the 
aid  of  Pepin  the  Short  against  the  Avars  in  748,  and  obtained 
it  at  the  price  of  almost  complete  submission  to  the  Prankish 
monarch.  His  successor,  Karat,  was  obliged  to  renew  this  vas- 
salage. Chotimir,  who  was  a  cousin  of  Borut,  was  brought  up 
in  Bavaria,  and  was  a  Christian;  he  was  a  fervent  apostle  of  the 
Gospel  among  the  Slovenes.  With  the  help  of  Virgil,  bishop  of 
Salzburg,  he  worked  hard  at  the  conversion  of  his  people,  which 
was  effected  solely  through  the  German  clergy,  and  its  first  result 
was  the  complete  Germanizing  of  the  Slavs  of  Salzburg  and  the 
Tyrol.  The  history  of  these  Slavs  belongs  in  the  main  to  that  of 
the  Ostmark  and  the  empire. 

One  thing  only  deserves  to  be  recorded  here,  and  that  is  the 
curious  mode  in  which  the  Carinthians  installed  their  princes.  The 
ceremony  took  place  near  the  town  of  Klagenfurt.  A  peasant 
mounted  on  a  rock  awaited  the  coming  of  the  new  prince,  who  ad- 
vanced, clothed  in  rustic  garments.  The  peasant  asked,  "Who  is 
this  who  approaches  ?  "  The  people  answered,  "  It  is  the  prince 
of  this  land."  The  peasant  then  asked,  "Is  he  a  good  judge?  is 
he  the  friend  of  truth  ?  "  and,  on  receiving  a  reply  in  the  affirmative, 
the  peasant  yielded  his  place  to  the  newcomer,  who  mounted  the 
rock  and,  brandishing  his  sword,  swore  to  defend  the  country  of 
the  Slovenes.  This  custom  lasted  down  to  the  fifteenth  century. 
The  people  who  had  imagined  it  deserved  a  more  brilliant  destiny. 

The  historic  individuality  of  the  Croats  is  much  more  clearly 
marked  than  that  of  the  Slovenes.  We  have  already  seen  how,  on 
their  arrival  in  their  new  country,  they  adopted  Christianity  with- 
out difficulty.  The  Germans  could  invoke  no  pretense  of  conver- 
sion to  justify  their  attempts  at  conquest  among  the  Croats,  but  it 
was  sufficient  reason  for  German  ambition  that  the  Croats  bordered 
on  the  empire.  In  796  Charles  the  Great  crushed  the  Avars  by 
taking  their  fortified  camp,  and  after  822  even  their  name  disap- 
pears from  the  chronicles.     Thus  master  of  the  country  between  the 



Danube  and  the  Theiss,  Charles  the  Great's  dominions  included 
the  numerous  and  still  independent  Croats.  The  margrave  of  Friuli 
was  appointed  to  attack  their  coast,  and  the  Croats  of  Dalmatia 
and  Slavonia  passed  from  the  yoke  of  Byzantium  to  that  of  the 
empire.  But  they  did  not  willingly  accept  the  Prankish  rule.  Their 
chief,  Ljudevit  (823),  revolted  against  the  foreign  yoke,  but  was 
defeated  and  forced  to  fly  to  Servia,  where  he  was  assassinated. 
We  cannot  undertake  to  relate  the  tangled  history  of  the  Croats 
of  Dalmatia  and  the  Save  districts.  Toward  the  end  of  the  ninth 
century  they  were  finally  united,  and  the  great  zhupan  Mutimir 
(892-900)  proclaimed  himself  chief  of  the  Croats  by  the  grace  of 
God,  organizing  his  court  on  the  model  of  the  other  European 

In  Croatia,  as  in  Moravia,  Western  influences  banished  the 
Slav  liturgy,  and  the  Croats  found  themselves  more  and  more  sep- 
arated from  the  Servians,  while  the  introduction  of  the  Latin  lan- 
guage prepared  the  way  for  the  Venetians.  These  gradually  took 
possession  of  the  whole  coast  of  the  Adriatic,  and  their  doges  adopted 
the  title  of  dukes  of  Dalmatia.  For  the  rest  of  the  land  the  over- 
lordship  of  Byzantium  was  gradually  renounced  by  Drzislav  (970- 
icxDi).  One  of  his  successors,  Peter  Kresimir,  called  the  Great, 
recovered  the  Dalmatian  cities  and  the  Isles,  and  took  the  title 
of  king  of  Dalmatia ;  conquered  from  the  Bulgarians  the  district  of 
Sirmia  which  they  had  captured,  and  from  the  Servians  part  of 
Bosnia ;  he  also  seized  part  of  Carniola,  Styria,  and  Istria. 

During  his  reign  a  council  was  held  at  Spalato  to  combat  the 
Slav  liturgy,  which  still  enjoyed  the  popular  favor  in  spite  of  all  the 
anathemas  hurled  against  it,  and  Kresimir  supported  Pope  Nich- 
olas II.  in  his  measures  for  driving  the  national  tongue  out  of  the 
church.  It  took  refuge  in  a  few  isles  of  the  Adriatic,  where  it  has 
lasted  down  to  our  time. 

King  Svinimir,  or  Zvonimir  (1075),  ^^  known  best  from  his 
relations  with  Pope  Gregory  VII.  That  Pontiff,  who  was  carry- 
ing on  an  energetic  struggle  with  the  empire,  aimed  at  directly  at- 
taching to  the  Holy  See  those  secondary  states  which  were 
dependents  neither  of  Germany  nor  Byzantium.  He  sent  Cardinal 
Gebizon  to  Croatia,  bearing  royal  insignia  to  Zvonimir.  Zvonimir 
was  consecrated  in  the  basilica  of  St.  Peter,  in  Spalato  (1076),  in 
the  name  of  the  Pope,  and  received  from  the  hands  of  his  envoy 
the  royal  diadem,  sword,  and  scepter.    In  return  for  this  honor  he 



promised  to  remain  faithful  and  obedient  to  the  Holy  See,  to  cause 
tithes  to  be  paid,  to  oblige  the  clergy  to  live  decent  lives,  and  to 
prevent  all  marriages  forbidden  by  the  laws  of  the  church,  and  all 
traffic  in  slaves.  He  also  undertook  to  pay  two  hundred  ducats 
yearly  to  the  Pope.  The  chronicles  of  Croatia  look  upon  the  reign 
of  Zvonimir  as  the  climax  of  the  national  power :  "  Under  good 
King  Zvonimir  the  country  lived  in  joy,  the  cities  were  full  of  gold 
and  of  silver.  The  poor  man  had  no  fear  that  the  rich  would  do  him 
wrong;  the  servant  dreaded  no  wrongdoing  from  his  master.  The 
king  defended  them,  and  they  had  nought  to  fear  but  the  anger  of 
God."  Zvonimir  died  without  children,  and  the  nobles  of  Croatia 
and  Dalmatia  elected  one  of  his  relations,  Stephen  II.,  who  reigned 
but  a  short  time.  He  was  the  last  king  of  the  line  of  the  Derzislavic, 
and  on  his  death  the  Croats,  after  long  discussion,  offered  their 
crown  to  Ladislas,  king  of  Hungary,  who  accepted  it. 

The  organization  of  the  kingdom  of  Croatia  and  its  institutions 
deserve  a  passing  mention.  The  Croats  were  grouped  together  in 
families  in  the  same  way  as  the  other  Slav  races.  A  certain  num- 
ber of  families  made  up  a  zhupa,  at  the  head  of  which  was  a  zhupan. 
In  early  times  one  among  the  zhupans  was  recognized  as  the  head 
of  the  nation,  with  the  title  of  the  great  zhupan;  he  had  no  abso- 
lute authority,  but  took  counsel  with  his  colleagues.  These  zhu- 
pans, who  are  named  in  the  Latin  texts  suppani,  were  called  by 
foreigners  duces,  comites,  and  principes. 

Around  the  great  zhupan,  or  king,  gathered  a  nobility  of  the 
counts  and  barons.  The  powers  of  the  great  zhupan  do  not  seem 
to  have  differed  from  those  exercised  later  on  by  the  kings;  this 
supreme  authority,  moreover,  was  hereditary.  At  the  same  time 
we  find  that  when  there  was  no  lawful  heir,  the  people  exercised 
the  right  of  election :  it  was  thus  that  the  ban  Zvonimir  was  elected 
ccncordi  totius  cleri  et  populi  electione.  Legislative,  administrative, 
and  judicial  functions  were  exercised  by  the  king  with  the  aid  of  a 
national  assembly.     The  capital  was  Belgrade. 

After  the  king,  the  most  important  officers  of  the  state  were 
the  bans.  At  first  there  was  but  one  ban,  who  was  a  kind  of  lieu- 
tenant general ;  but  later  on  there  were  seven  of  them,  each  known 
by  the  name  of  the  province  he  governed.  To  this  day  the  royal 
lieutenant  of  Croatia  is  called  the  ban.  All  grave  questions  of 
legislation,  of  peace  and  war,  and  of  election  to  the  throne  were 
treated  in  the  diets,  whose  organization  is  but  ill-defined.     The 



towns  on  the  Dalamatian  coast  had  preserved  municipal  institutions 
of  Roman  origin,  which  were  independent  of  the  rest  of  the 

At  the  head  of  the  church  was  the  archbishop  of  Spalato,  which 
was  the  metropolis  of  the  rest  of  the  kingdom.  Byzantine  ortho- 
doxy made  but  little  progress  in  Croatia,  and  we  have  already  seen 
with  what  distrust  the  Roman  clergy  and  the  Holy  See  treated  the 
Slav  liturgy,  even  though  it  was  Catholic.  The  court  of  Rome 
remained  all-powerful  in  Croatia;  the  church  was  rich,  and  the 
monasteries,  especially  those  of  the  Benedictines,  very  numerous. 
The  Latin  language,  owing  to  the  influence  of  Rome,  became  the 
official  language  of  politics,  literature,  and  religion.  At  the  same 
time  there  remain  some  manuscripts  which  prove  that  the  national 
tongue  was  occasionally  used  in  legal  proceedings. 

Chapter   V 


THE  Hungarian  nation  appears  in  history  under  two  names, 
that  of  Magyar,  used  by  themselves,  and  that  of  Hun- 
garian, used  by  foreigners.  The  first  time  we  hear  of  them 
they  are  spoken  of  as  Hving  by  the  chase  near  the  Volga  River  and 
the  Ural  Mountains.  Nomadic  tribes  wandering  over  the  immense 
plains  of  eastern  Russia,  they  gradually  made  their  way  westward, 
and  settled  near  the  shores  of  the  Black  Sea.  There  seven  tribes 
are  said  to  have  given  command  to  a  young  leader  named  Arpad, 
who  became  the  founder  of  a  dynasty.  The  wealth  of  Europe 
seems  to  have  attracted  them,  as  Italy  had  formerly  attracted  the 
Germans,  and  the  imprudence  of  the  Western  monarchs  opened  a 
way  for  them  to  the  very  heart  of  its  fertile  lands.  First  the  East- 
ern emperor  implored  their  help  against  the  Bulgarians,  and  then 
Arnulf  sought  their  aid  against  Svatopluk. 

The  region  of  the  Danube  into  which  they  came  had  been  rav- 
aged and  occupied  by  their  ancestors  or  kinsmen  for  more  than 
two  centuries.  The  Huns  of  Attila  had  encamped  there,  and  they 
had  been  followed  by  the  Avars,  who  had  settled  there  from  the 
end  of  the  sixth  century  down  to  the  time  when  Charles  the  Great 
destroyed  their  great  bring  between  the  Danube  and  the  Theiss 
in  796. 

The  first  attack  of  the  Magyars,  which  was  directed  against 
Moravia  in  892,  was  unsuccessful.  Two  years  later,  however,  they 
returned,  determined  this  time  to  settle  in  whatever  part  of  the  land 
they  might  be  able  to  conquer.  Few  examples  of  a  migration  so 
vast  are  to  be  found  in  the  history  of  barbarian  invasions.  Two 
hundred  and  sixteen  thousand  men  bearing  arms,  which  implies  a 
total  population  of  almost  a  million,  are  the  numbers  mentioned  in 
the  national  traditions,  where  it  is  said  that  this  multitude  took 
nearly  three  years  to  cross  the  Carpathians. 

The  nation  was  led  with  so  exact  and  wise  a  discipline  as  to 
call  forth  the  admiration  of  an  illustrious  Byzantine  critic.    "  Their 




vigorous  bodies,"  says  Sayous,  "  used  to  the  privations  of  the 
desert,  felt  neither  heat  nor  cold,  neither  hunger  nor  thirst.  Ac- 
customed to  all  manner  of  hardships,  no  task  seemed  impossible  to 
them.  Every  kind  of  weapon,  sword,  bow,  or  lance,  was  alike  to 
them,  for  they  knew  how  to  fight  both  on  foot  and  on  horseback; 
but,  horsemen  rather  than  foot  soldiers,  they  preferred  to  fight  on 
their  small  and  agile  steeds,  which  never  felt  fatigue,  and  the  arrow 
was  their  favorite  weapon.  When  arrayed  for  battle  they  were 
divided  into  bodies  of  one  thousand  men  each,  who  were  equally 
prepared  to  form  one  compact  mass  or  to  pour  down  upon  the 
enemy  in  flying  squadrons  from  every  side  at  once.  A  cloud  of  ar- 
rows was  the  prelude  to  a  furious  onslaught  which  bore  all  before 
it,  and  often  a  pretended  flight  finished  the  complete  rout  of  their 
enemies  when  they  were  madly  confident  of  victory." 

The  legends  of  the  Magyars  tell  us  the  names  of  some  of  the 
small  Slav  princes  who  were  the  first  to  give  way  before  this  terrible 
invasion.  But  they  tell  us  nothing  of  the  manner  in  which  the  Mo- 
ravian kingdom  was  conquered.  By  the  end  of  the  tenth  century 
we  find  the  ruin  of  that  power  completed,  and  the  rule  of  the  Mag- 
yars established  in  the  whole  of  the  district  along  whose  center 
runs  the  Danube,  and  whose  north  and  east  are  bounded  by  the  Car- 
pathian Mountains. 

The  invasion  had  the  gravest  consequences  for  the  history  of 
these  lands.  "  It  was  not  a  mere  immigration  of  a  Finnish  race, 
destined  to  disappear  as  the  Huns  and  Avars  had  already  disap- 
peared, or  to  become  absorbed  like  the  Bulgarians  among  the  con- 
quered race.  The  intellectual  qualities  of  the  Magyars,  the  finest 
of  the  Altaic  races,  their  physical  strength,  their  immense  numbers, 
their  keen  patriotism,  guaranteed  them  against  destruction  or  ab- 
sorption, slow  or  rapid." 

The  advent  of  this  people  and  their  settlement  upon  the 
ruins  of  Moravia  was  a  mortal  blow  to  the  Slavs.  The  Czech  his- 
torian Palacky  says,  "  The  invasion  of  the  Hungarians  was  the 
greatest  misfortune  that  ever  befell  our  race.  From  Holstein  to 
the  Peloponnesus  the  Slav  tribes  extended;  they  were  but  loosely 
united  and  their  customs  differed,  but  they  were  all  vigorous  and 
ready  for  civilization.  In  the  center  of  this  vast  region  a  nucleus 
had  been  formed  by  the  efforts  of  Svatopluk,  about  which  a  great 
Slav  civilization  might  have  developed.  But  the  hopes  of  the  Slavs 
were  ruthlessly  destroyed  by  the  appearance  of  the  Magyars." 




The  lands  on  which  they  had  settled  did  not  suffice  for  the  new 
conquerors.  The  Magyar  hordes  brought  with  them  nomadic  and 
warlike  instincts  which  time  and  the  influence  of  the  Christian  re- 
ligion alone  could  transform  and  prepare  for  civilization.  They 
invaded  the  Venetian  country;  but  the  city  of  the  lagoons  beat 
them  back,  as  it  had  already  beaten  back  the  Huns.  In  907  Arpad 
died,  and,  according-  to  tradition,  his  remains  lie  at  the  foot  of  the 
rock  of  Buda,  where  he  had  located  his  capital  or  camp.  ,  Under  his 
son  Zoltan  the  invasions  continued ;  the  Germans  suffered  a  terrible 
defeat  at  Presburg  in  907;  then  again  in  910,  near  Augsburg;  but 



CIRCA    910  A.D. 

they  repulsed  the  Magyars  before  Wels,  where,  if  we  are  to  be- 
lieve their  account,  eighty-six  Magyars  alone  escaped.  An  old 
German  poem  proudly  celebrates  this  victory :  "  They  fought  a 
terrible  fight.  Many  a  Hungarian  lost  his  life;  the  Bavarians 
avenged  their  women  and  children.  So  many  Hungarians  were 
killed  that  no  one  could  tell  the  number  nor  count  the  dead.  They 
fled  night  and  day  till  they  reached  the  Leitha.  Yet  were  they  not 
weary  of  the  fight." 

In  924  it  was  again  Italy  that  they  attacked,  and  even  Provence 
and  Champagne  saw  the  terrible  horsemen  within  their  borders. 
At  last,  however,  their  progress  was  definitely  stopped  by  the 



battle  of  Augsburg,  in  955.  Thenceforward  the  Magyars  were 
forced  to  fall  back,  and  to  content  themselves  with  those  lands 
which  they  had  secured  in  the  valley  of  the  Danube.  King  Geiza 
(972-997)  was  the  first  pacific  ruler  of  pagan  Hungary. 

Thus  a  new  military  state  appeared  which  was  destined  to  play 
an  important  part  in  the  history  of  these  lands.  Within  the  limits 
of  the  Magyar  kingdom,  in  almost  every  part,  was  a  large  Slav 
population,  whose  language  and  laws  were  to  exercise  a  lasting 
influence  on  the  Hungarians.  On  the  southeast  they  touched  on 
the  Romance  element,  which,  from  the  time  of  the  Roman  colonies 
of  Trajan,  had  continued  to  develop  there.  Numerous  marriages 
with  these  neighbors  gradually  modified  the  primitive  type  of  the 
Magyars ;  they  have  long  since  lost  the  high  cheek  bones  and  slant- 
ing eyes  of  the  Mongols,  and,  improved  by  the  intermixture  of 
races,  they  have  become  one  of  the  most  beautiful,  perhaps  the 
most  beautiful,  race  in  Europe. 

Few  traces  of  the  religion  of  the  pagan  Mag^yars  are  left  to- 
day, and  it  is  difficult  to  make  out  their  system  of  mythology  from 
the  popular  superstitions.  They  seem  to  have  recognized  a  supreme 
god,  Isten,  the  father  of  men,  and  below  him  a  number  of  sec- 
ondary deities,  such  as  the  demon  Ordog,  and  Mano,  the  evil 
spirit.  Below  these  again  are  the  tiinder,  fairies  and  apparitions 
who  influence  the  destiny  of  man  in  various  ways.  Sayous  says: 
"  Somewhere  among  the  mountains  of  Transylvania  lies  the  palace 
of  the  king  of  the  Hinder,  where  he  dwells  with  his  queen  and  many 
beautiful  maidens;  this  palace  is  built  of  silver  and  copper,  and  is 
guarded  by  a  golden  lion ;  it  is  reflected  in  a  shining  lake  and  sur- 
rounded by  great  forests,  where  the  song  of  birds  fills  the  air  with 
delightful  melody.  A  tradition  of  the  comitat  of  Houth  tells 
how,  in  a  spot  which  is  now  deserted  and  covered  with  stones,  with 
here  and  there  the  stump  of  an  old  tree,  there  formerly  lived  fairies 
who,  at  break  of  day,  combed  their  golden  locks  over  the  country 
in  such  fashion  that  every  one  was  rich ;  but  a  miser  seized  one  of 
the  fairies,  intending  to  cut  off  all  of  her  hair,  whereupon  they  all 
took  flight,  and  the  land  was  filled  with  desolation,  and  poverty 
took  the  place  of  plenty.  In  the  town  of  Deva  the  good  fairy  used 
to  appear  every  seven  years ;  while  other  fairies  built  walls  for  men 
and  made  them  rich  with  their  treasures,  till  human  ingratitude  con- 
tinually disappointed  them  and  forced  them  to  quit  the  place.  Be- 
sides the  fairies  of  the  earth  there  were  also  those  of  the  air  and 

THE     MAGYAR     STATE  45 


of  the  water.  One  of  the  most  poetical  and  most  original  fancies 
of  the  Magyar  imagination  was  Delibab,  the  fairy  of  the  south, 
the  personification  of  the  mirage,  who  was  the  daughter  of  the 
plain,  the  sister  of  the  sea,  the  beloved  of  the  wind.  Lakes  and 
rivers  were  peopled  by  mysterious  spirits.  The  elements  were  the 
objects  of  worship.  And  further,  "  Alone  among  all  created  things 
the  human  soul  preserved  an  indestructible  and  immortal  existence ; 
it  could  return  to  earth,  especially  if  it  had  been  the  soul  of  an 
illustrious  warrior.  The  soul  passed  beneath  the  vault  of  death 
on  horseback,  and  crossed  a  bridge  which  led  to  happiness  in  an- 
other world — a.  warrior's  happiness,  as  the  funeral  ceremonies  had 
been  those  of  a  warrior." 

Power  was  divided  between  the  priests  and  the  prince.  The 
priests  offered  songs  and  prayers,  and  even  human  sacrifices,  upon 
altars  in  the  woods.  A  nomadic  race,  such  as  were  the  Magyars 
before  their  conversion  to  Christianity,  could  have  but  a  very  im- 
perfect form  of  government.  It  was  military  rather  than  political. 
The  power  of  the  highest  chief  had  no  limits  but  those  imposed  by 
the  right  of  self-government  possessed  by  each  tribe.  He  was 
chosen  by  the  voice  of  the  people,  and  it  would  seem  that  the  choice 
had  become  hereditary  in  the  family  of  Arpad,  though  without  the 
right  of  primogeniture  being  recognized  either  by  custom  or 
law.  This  election  was  confirmed  by  the  supreme  judicial  power, 
and  by  the  general  assembly  of  the  chiefs,  assisted  by  many  of  the 

All  the  members  of  a  family,  and  even  of  a  tribe,  looked  upon 
each  other  as  brothers ;  they  were  all  free  and  all  noble.  Here  we 
find  the  origin  of  that  numerous  class  of  petite  noblesse  which  has 
always  been  the  strength  of  Hungary.  "  The  headship  of  the  fam- 
ilies and  tribes  was  partly  hereditary,  partly  elective.  The  land  as- 
signed to  the  tribe  or  family  by  the  duke  or  by  the  national  assem- 
bly was  the  property  of  all,  even  when  the  various  branches  of  the 
family  had  divided  it  into  portions.  On  these  they  might  build  the 
huts  which  gradually  became  houses,  and  pasture  their  cattle  until 
it  was  brought  under  cultivation,  but  still  it  remained  the  property 
of  the  tribe.  The  chief  had  no  peculiar  domain.  It  was  not  until 
later,  when  Hungary  had  become  an  agricultural  country,  that 
properties  were  well  defined,  and  that  the  chiefs  became  proprietors 
of  part  of  the  land  and  feudal  lords  of  the  rest.  In  early  times  the 
ducal  tribe,  the  one  which  was  under  the  immediate  authority  of  the 



prince,  settled  in  the  center  of  the  country  near  Pesth  and 

Naturally  the  old  Magyars  had  but  little  taste  for  town  life; 
they  left  the  towns  to  their  old  inhabitants,  or  else  peopled  them 
with  colonists  from  foreign  countries.  Their  nomadic  life  afforded 
but  small  opportunity  for  intellectual  or  artistic  culture;  the  Mag- 
yar archaeologists  can  find  few  ruins  belonging  to  this  pagan  time, 
and  not  a  verse  has  reached  us  of  the  rhapsodies  sung  by  the  bards 
in  the  honor  of  their  heroes,  or  at  the  great  festivals  and  marriages. 
All  we  know  is  that  music  played  a  large  part  on  these  solemn 
occasions.  The  weird  melodies  of  the  gypsies  may  perhaps  have 
preserved  some  faint  echoes  of  those  early  songs. 

Geiza  I.,  referred  to  above  as  the  first  pacific  king  of  pagan 
Hungary,  had  married  as  his  second  wife  a  sister  of  the  duke 
of  Poland,  Mieczyslaw.  She  had  been  converted  to  Christianity, 
and,  like  Clotilde  of  France,  this  princess  knew  how  to  use  her  in- 
fluence in  favor  of  her  religion.  She  persuaded  her  husband  to 
receive  the  missionaries  who  came  to  preach  the  Gospel  in  the 
country  of  the  Magyars,  and  Pilgrim,  archbishop  of  Lorch,  under- 
took the  systematic  conversion  of  the  nation.  He  sent  priests  from 
his  diocese  into  Hungary,  and  in  974  he  announced  five  thousand 
conversions  to  the  Pope.  Foreigners,  who,  up  to  this  time,  had 
practiced  their  religion  secretly,  began  to  profess  it  openly,  had  their 
children  publicly  baptized,  and  built  churches.  Geiza  himself  con- 
sented to  be  baptized,  but  long  afterward  he  continued  to  mix  pagan 
ceremonies  with  the  Christian  rites.  The  great  Czech  apostle,  St. 
Adalbert,  bishop  of  Prague,  continued  the  work  begun  by  Pilgrim. 
About  994  he  went  to  Gran,  where  the  duke  of  Hungary  then  dwelt, 
and  solemnly  baptized  the  son  of  Geiza,  to  whom  he  gave  the  name 
of  Stephen.  Henceforth  the  court  of  the  duke  became  the  resort 
of  knights  from  all  the  neighboring  countries,  but  especially  from 
Germany,  and  these  knights,  entering  into  intimate  relations  with 
the  native  nobility,  drew  Hungary  and  the  empire  into  still  closer 
union.  Prince  Stephen,  heir-presumptive  to  the  throne,  married 
the  Princess  Gisella,  daughter  of  the  duke  of  Bavaria,  while  one 
of  the  daughters  of  Geiza  became  the  wife  of  the  Polish  Duke  Bole- 
slav,  and  another  married  Urseolus,  doge  of  Venice.  Through 
these  alliances  Hungary  obtained  for  itself  a  recognized  place 
among  European  states,  and  the  work  begun  so  well  by  Geiza  was 
completed  by  Stephen,  to  whom  was  reserved  the  honor  of  estab- 


THE     MAGYAR     STATE  417 


lishing  the  position  of  his  kingdom  in  Europe  and  of  completing 
its  conversion.  When  this  prince  came  to  the  throne  in  997,  the 
countries  surrounding  Hungary  were  all  ruled  by  celebrated 
princes.  Otto  III.  governed  Germany;  Boleslav  III.,  Bohemia; 
Boleslav  the  Brave,  Poland ;  Vladimir  the  Great,  Russia ;  and  Basil 
XL,  Byzantium.  In  order  to  maintain  the  existence  of  Hungary 
among  these  flourishing  states  it  w^as  needful  that  it  should  attain 
the  same  degree  of  civilization,  and  this  was  the  work  of  Stephen, 
honored  by  the  Hungarians  as  the  second  founder  of  their  nation. 

In  the  very  beginning  of  his  reign  Stephen  had  to  struggle 
against  the  revolts  of  a  pagan  chief,  Koppany,  who  saw  in  the 
introduction  of  Christianity  danger  to  the  native  institutions.  He 
overcame  him  beneath  the  walls  of  Veszprim,  and,  once  freed  from 
this  formidable  enemy,  Stephen  gave  all  his  thoughts  to  the  spread 
of  Christianity  among  his  people.  His  zeal  was  refmarkable. 
"  Hungary  became  Catholic,"  says  the  Magyar  historian,  Verboczy, 
"  not  through  apostolic  teaching,  nor  through  the  invitation  of  the 
Holy  See,  but  through  the  laws  of  King  Stephen."  He  was  not 
always  content  to  use  persuasion  alone  to  lead  his  subjects  to  the 
new  faith ;  he  hesitated  not  to  use  threats  also.  He  sent  an  ambas- 
sador to  Rome  to  treat  directly  with  Pope  Sylvester,  who  graciously 
received  the  homage  offered  for  the  kingdom,  and  by  a  letter,  dated 
March  27,  1000,  announced  that  he  took  the  people  of  Hungary 
under  the  protection  of  the  church. 

On  August  15,  in  the  year  1000,  the  king  was  crowned  at 
Gran  with  the  crown  sent  to  him  by  the  Pontiff.  The  coronation 
of  Stephen  secured  the  continuance  of  power  to  the  dynasty  of 
Arpad.  He  still,  however,  met  with  some  resistance,  especially  in 
Transylvania,  where  the  native  prince,  Giulay,  refused  to  sanction 
the  Christian  religion.  Stephen  marched  against  him,  defeated 
him,  and  granted  Transylvania  to  a  voievode  of  the  race  of  Ar- 
pad. He  reconquered  part  of  Moravia  from  Bohemia,  and  dared 
even  to  attack  Germany  on  the  side  of  Bavaria,  but  being  attacked 
in  his  turn,  was  obliged  to  make  peace. 

Under  this  great  king  Hungary  became  an  independent  king- 
dom between  the  two  empires  of  the  East  and  West,  and  was  prob- 
ably enabled  to  preserve  its  independence  by  that  equilibrium  which 
was  now  established  between  these  two  ambitious  rivals.  The  state 
was  completely  united,  and  was  not  divided  into  appanages.  The 
king  was  supreme,  but  he  had  a  council  of  the  old  and  wise  men 



continually  at  hand  to  advise  him,  "  For,"  said  Stephen,  in  the  di- 
rections which  he  wrote  for  his  son  Emerich,  "  it  is  right  that  each 
should  busy  himself  with  that  which  suits  him  best,  the  young  with 
fighting,  the  old  with  counsel."  He  himself  calls  this  institution 
regalis  senatus,  regale  concilium,  primatum  conventus,  commune 
concilium..  Hungarian  historians  see  in  it  the  first  elements  of  the 
national  diet;  rough  beginnings,  doubtless,  and  as  little  subject  to 
fixed  rules  as  had  formerly  been  the  meetings  of  the  tribes  in  the 

Ecclesiastically  the  kingdom  was  divided  ?nto  ten  bishoprics, 
all  subject  to  the  archbishop  of  Gran.  Stephen  also  founded  sev- 
eral abbeys,  which  were  granted  to  the  Benedictines,  who  opened 
schools,  while  churches  were  built  by  Italian  and  Byzantine 

Politically  the  nation  was  divided  into  comitats.  The  germ 
of  this  division  had  existed  already  among  the  Slavs,  who  had 
to  make  way  for  the  Magyars,  and  the  name,  like  most  of  the  po- 
litical terms  used  in  Hungary,  was  borrowed  from  the  Slav  lan- 
guage. The  name  zhupan  became  in  the  Magyar  ispan,  a  word 
which  plays  so  prominent  a  part  in  the  history  of  the  nation.  Each 
comitat  possessed  a  camp  {var)y  and  these  camps  formed  together 
a  complete  system  of  defense.  The  comitat  was  governed  by  a 
count  (ispan),  who  exercised  civil  and  military  authority  in  the 
name  of  the  king;  he  was  aided  by  a  general,  major  exercitus,  by  a 
castellan,  or  governor,  and  by  centurions  and  decurions. 

When  Stephen  began  to  reign  property  was  of  two  kinds, 
the  property  of  the  state  and  the  property  of  the  tribe.  Stephen 
maintained  the  property  of  the  state,  but  put  an  end  to  all  tribal 
rights;  he  declared  that  each  citizen  had  the  right  to  keep  and  to 
bequeath  to  his  children  the  possessions  he  had  acquired,  or  which 
he  had  received  from  the  king.  But  we  must  not  look  upon  these 
royal  gifts  as  hereditary  fiefs.  The  aristocracy  was  formed  of  those 
who  held  high  offices,  and  was  divided  into  two  classes.  The  first 
included  the  counts,  bishops,  the  leaders  of  the  army,  and  perhaps 
the  descendants  of  the  chiefs  of  the  old  Magyar  tribes.  The  second 
was  composed  more  especially  of  warriors.  After  these  two 
classes  came  the  soldiers  of  the  fortified  towns  and  the  citizens. 
Quite  early  we  find  a  large  number  of  Germans  among  the  inhab- 
itants of  certain  towns ;  they  were  known  by  the  name  of  hospites. 
The  towns  exercised  municipal  self-government  under  the  control 

THE     MAGYAR     STATE  49 


of  the  ispan  and  the  bishop.  The  mass  of  the  peopU  did  not  pos- 
sess land.  The  artisans  were  the  connecting  link  between  the  nobles 
and  the  serfs.  Stephen  did  not  suppress  slavery,  but  he  improved 
the  condition  of  the  slaves. 

The  king  was  supreme  judge,  and  under  some  circumstances 
he  administered  justice  in  person.  Bishops  and  abbots,  civil  and 
military  dignitaries,  could  only  be  summoned  to  appear  in  the 
king's  court,  presided  over  either  by  the  sovereign  himself  or  by 
the  count  palatine.  This  court  acted  also  as  a  court  of  appeal 
against  all  judgments  delivered  by  the  counts  of  towns,  bishoprics, 
or  abbeys.  Oral  witness  was  admitted,  as  well  as  trial  by  single 
combat.  The  penal  code  was  very  severe.  The  right  of  sanctu- 
ary was  refused  to  all  who  conspired  against  the  king  or  country, 
and  he  who  sowed  discord  among  the  people  was  condemned  to 
lose  his  tongue.  A  false  witness  had  his  arm  cut  off;  murderers 
had  to  pay  a  heavy  fine ;  at  the  same  time  the  murderer  of  a  slave 
was  only  obliged  to  pay  the  value  of  the  slave  to  his  master.  The 
murder  of  a  wife  was  punished  according  to  the  rank  of  the  mur- 
derer ;  a  count  paid  to  the  family  of  his  wife  fifty  young  oxen,  a  war- 
rior only  ten.  Human  life  was  tolerably  cheap.  The  loss  of  a 
limb  cost  more ;  it  could  only  be  atoned  for  by  the  loss  of  the  same 
limb,  thus  putting  in  practice  the  old  Bible  precept,  "  an  eye  for 
an  eye,  a  tooth  for  a  tooth."  Rape  was  punished  by  the  payment 
of  ten  or  five  oxen,  according  to  the  rank  of  the  criminal.  The 
thief  who  could  not  restore  the  value  of  the  thing  stolen  was  sold  as 
a  slave.  Thus  did  this  imperfect  legislation  combine  Mosaic  prin- 
ciples with  the  customs  of  barbarians. 

The  revenue  of  the  king  was  made  up  of  the  contributions  of 
the  artisans  and  the  lower  classes,  the  taxes  on  towns,  the  pro- 
duce of  mines  and  salt  works,  a  monopoly  of  the  coinage,  and 
some  portion  of  all  fines.  Besides  this,  subjects  were  bound  to 
maintain  the  royal  household  as  the  king  traveled  from  place  to 
place.  Every  man  had  to  serve  as  a  soldier;  the  warriors  of  the 
nation  were  summoned  by  a  bloody  sword  sent  from  comitat  to 
comitat ;  and  the  castles  were  the  meeting-places  of  the  nobles.  The 
laws  of  Stephen  are  contained  in  fifty-six  articles,  divided  into 
two  books.  His  ideas  on  all  matters  of  government  are  also  to  be 
found  in  the  counsels  which  he  wrote,  or  caused  to  be  written, 
for  his  son  Emerich,  and  which  have  more  than  one  claim  to  our 

Chapter    VI 

ST.  STEPHEN.    1038-1301 

THE  son  for  whom  the  great  king  had  written  his  maxims 
died  before  his  father,  in  103 1,  and  is  honored  as  a  saint 
by  the  church.  The  last  years  of  King  Stephen  were 
harassed  by  rivalries  and  plots.  He  died  in  1038,  thirty-eight  years 
after  his  coronation  to  the  very  day,  and  was  buried  at  Stuhl- 
weissenburg.  Stephen  had  chosen  as  his  successor  his  nephew, 
Peter,  the  son  of  the  Doge  Urseolus.  This  prince,  a  stranger  in 
Hungary,  made  himself  unpopular  by  his  insolence  and  by  the 
brutal  way  in  which  he  behaved  toward  the  widow  of  his  predeces- 
sor; the  Hungarians  rose  against  him,  and  elected  in  his  stead 
Samuel  Ala,  the  chief  of  one  of  the  tribes.  Peter  thereupon  fled 
to  Germany,  and  implored  help  from  Henry  HI.,  promising  to  pay 
tribute  to  that  prince  if  he  would  replace  him  on  his  throne.  The 
German  diet  declared  war  against  Hungary;  the  imperial  army 
penetrated  as  far  as  Gran,  and  Samuel  Ala  was  obliged  to  purchase 
peace  on  humiliating  conditions.  More  fortunate  in  a  second  cam- 
paign, he  repulsed  the  Germans,  but  his  tyranny,  which  proved  as 
great  as  that  of  Peter,  provoked  a  fresh  insurrection.  Peter  again 
sought  his  old  allies,  and  on  the  occasion  of  a  solemn  festival  he 
did  homage  to  the  emperor  for  the  kingdom  of  Hungary  and  re- 
ceived investiture  of  it.  This  act  of  humiliation,  however,  was  of 
no  avail ;  a  popular  assembly  at  Csanad  pronounced  him  dethroned, 
and,  in  1046,  proclaimed  in  his  stead  Andrew,  son  of  Vladislav  the 

The  beginning  of  Andrew's  reign  was  marked  by  a  violent 
reaction  among  the  pagans  against  Christians  and  foreigners,  but 
Andrew  succeeded  in  maintaining  his  position,  had  himself  con- 
secrated, and  was  able  at  last  to  forbid,  on  pain  of  death,  all  exer- 
cise of  the  rites  of  paganism.  He  was  attacked  by  the  emperor, 
but  with  the  help  of  his  brother  Bela  successfully  resisted  him,  and 
concluded  an  honorable  peace.    Soon  afterward,  however,  in  1061, 






he  was  dethroned  by  Bela,  and  died  fighting  on  the  banks  of  the 
Theiss.  Bela  also  had  to  suppress  a  new  rising  of  the  pagans 
against  Christianity.  He  endeavored,  by  wise  economic  measures, 
to  remedy  the  disastrous  condition  into  which  Hungary  had  fallen 
as  the  result  of  these  perpetual  struggles,  but  he  died  from  an  acci- 
dent in  1063.  According  to  an  Asiatic  custom  which  still  prevails 
in  Turkey,  he  was  succeeded  by  his  nephew  Koloman.  This  prince 
was  only  twelve  years  of  age,  and  the  emperor,  Henry  IV.,  tried 
to  take  advantage  of  his  youth.  He  was  reproached  for  this,  and 
Pope  Gregory  VH,,  who  was  then  struggling  against  the  emperor, 
encouraged  the  opposition.  "  The  kingdom  of  Hungary,"  he  said, 
"  owes  obedience  to  none  but  the  church." 

Ladislas  the  Holy  succeeded  in  1077,  and  made  himself 
equally  independent  of  emperor  and  Pope.  He  withstood  success- 
fully all  Koloman's  attempts  to  recover  the  crown  which  had  been 
torn  from  him,  and  managed  to  keep  on  good  terms  with  the  court 
of  Rome,  which  consented  to  canonize  both  King  Stephen  and  his 
son  Emerich.  He  was  not  less  fortunate  in  his  struggles  against 
the  Cumans  and  Petcheneguens^  who  continued  to  invade  Hungary. 
He  overcame  them  on  the  banks  of  the  Temes,  and  then  offered 
them  a  permanent  settlement  in  the  country  on  condition  that  they 
become  Christians.  They  accepted  his  offer,  and  colonized  a  por- 
tion of  the  valley  of  the  Theiss,  being  bound,  in  return  for  the  land 
they  received,  to  furnish  bowmen  to  the  royal  army.  On  the 
death,  moreover,  of  the  Croat  king,  Stephen  H.,  in  1090,  Ladislas 
obliged  that  country  to  accept  as  their  new  king  the  Magyar  prince 
Almos,  son  of  Geiza  I.,  and  thus  prepared  the  way  for  the  union 
of  the  two  crowns  which  was  soon  after  to  be  effected. 

Like  St.  Stephen,  Ladislas  was  the  law-giver  of  his  country. 
In  a  great  assembly  of  prelates,  nobles,  and  citizens,  held  at  Sza- 
bolcz  in  1092,  he  promulgated  laws  of  which  the  most  important 
treat  of  religious  matters.  They  authorize  the  marriage  of  priests, 
notwithstanding  the  decisions  of  Gregory  VII.  on  ecclesiastical 
celibacy,  and  they  carefully  regulate  the  collection  of  tithes.  They 
contain  penal  measures  against  the  last  adherents  of  paganism ;  any- 
one who  offers  sacrifices  near  a  tree  or  spring  is  condemned  to  for- 
feit an  ox ;  the  Jew  who  works  on  Sunday,  the  Mussulman  convert 
who  returns  to  Mohammedanism,  are  both  to  be  punished.  Other 
laws  of  St.  Ladislas  concern  the  administration  of  justice,  enact 
penalties  for  theft,  and  regulate  the  protection  of  property.    They 



are  extremely  severe;  the  theft  of  a  goose  is  punished  by  the  loss 
of  an  eye,  and  all  acts  of  violence  are  suppressed  with  Draconian 
rigor.  The  church  has  shown  her  gratitude  to  the  monarch  who 
gave  her  so  many  proofs  of  his  attachment  and  submission  by  plac- 
ing him  among  the  number  of  her  saints. 

The  dying  Ladislas  chose  his  nephew  Koloman  as  his  suc- 
cessor. This  young  prince,  destined  at  first  for  the  church,  was 
very  learned  for  those  times,  and  was  called  by  his  contemporaries 
the  Scholar.  Shortly  after  his  accession  the  Crusaders  marched 
through  Hungary.  The  excesses  committed  by  these  bands  of 
enthusiastic  but  undisciplined  men  were  but  little  likely  to  inspire 
the  Magyars  with  respect  for  their  cause.  Koloman,  after  having 
allowed  the  first  portions  of  the  army  to  march  through  his  lands, 
>vas  obliged  to  arm  his  subjects  against  the  plunderers  who  were 
ravaging  his  country.  When  Godfrey  of  Bouillon  reached  the 
frontier  he  demanded  an  interview  with  Koloman,  in  which  the 
latter,  in  order  to  secure  good  order  and  the  peace  of  the  land,  fixed 
the  route  of  the  Crusaders  and  demanded  hostages.  By  these 
means  all  the  annoyance  and  disorder  which  had  arisen  from  the 
first  armies  was  successfully  avoided. 

The  most  important  act  of  this  reign  was  the  annexation  of 
Croatia.  In  1090  St.  Ladislas  had  been  elected  to  the  throne  of 
Croatia,  and  he,  on  his  death,  left  the  government  of  it  to  his 
nephew  Almos,  who  very  soon  made  himself  unpopular.  Koloman 
drove  him  out  of  Croatia,  and  had  himself  proclaimed  king.  He 
next  set  about  the  conquest  of  Dalmatia  from  the  Venetians,  seized 
the  principal  towns,  and  granted  them  full  power  of  self-govern- 
ment. Then,  in  1102,  he  had  himself  crowned  at  Belgrade  king 
of  Croatia  and  Dalmatia.  From  this  time  the  position  of  Croatia, 
as  regards  Hungary,  was  very  much  the  same  as  the  position  of 
Hungary  in  regard  to  Austria  in  later  times.  The  destinies  of  the 
two  kingdoms  of  St.  Stephen  and  Zvonimir  were  united,  but  Croa- 
tia maintained  a  more  or  less  definite  individuality,  and  the  ban  or 
viceroy  of  Croatia  was  the  representative  of  the  autonomy  of  a  Slav 
state  associated  with  a  Magyar  state,  a  condition  of  things  which 
has  remained  down  to  the  present  day.  At  this  time  the  Croats 
freely  chose  as  their  king  one  who  undertook  to  respect  their 
laws.  They  preserved  the  right  of  administering  their  internal  af- 
fairs, of  electing  their  own  bishops  and  zhupans,  and  of  granting 
the  rights  of  citizenship  to  whomsoever  they  would ;  they  kept  their 



own  coinage,  army,  and  taxes.  The  relations  between  the  two 
kingdoms  are  still  partly  regulated  by  this  old  agreement,  and  the 
Croats  proudly  quote  this  maxim  of  public  law :  regnum  regno  non 
prcescribit  leges. 

Koloman  continued  the  legislative  work  of  Stephen  and 
Ladislas,  and  improved  the  penal  laws  of  his  predecessor,  making 
them  more  merciful.  He  was  sufficiently  liberal  and  enlightened 
to  do  away  with  all  trial  for  sorcery,  "  inasmuch  as  there  are  no 
sorcerers."  He  increased  the  number  of  the  law  courts,  restrained 
judicial  combats,  and  established  a  rigorous  distinction  between 
ecclesiastical  and  lay  discipline,  and  no  longer  allowed  the  celibacy 
of  the  clergy. 

The  end  of  Koloman's  reign  was  disturbed  by  revolts  and  con- 
spiracies caused  by  his  brother  Almos,  who  had  been  deprived 
by  him  of  the  government  of  Croatia.  After  pardoning  him  several 
times,  Koloman  yielded  to  the  barbarous  spirit  of  the  age,  and 
caused  the  eyes  of  his  brother,  and  of  his  little  nephew  of  five  years 
of  age,  to  be  put  out;  but  this  is  the  only  act  of  barbarity  that 
history  records  of  this  enlightened  sovereign,  who  enlarged  the 
kingdom  till  its  boundary  touched  the  sea,  and  finally  secured  its 
position  in  civilized  Europe.  Among  the  kings  who  occupied  the 
throne  of  Hungary  during  the  twelfth  century,  none  can  be  com- 
pared with  Koloman  and  St.  Ladislas. 

Stephen  H.,  the  son  of  Koloman,  succeeded  at  the  age  of 
thirteen,  and  died  in  1131,  after  an  uneventful  reign.  As  his  suc- 
cessor he  had  appointed  that  son  of  Almos  whom  Koloman  had 
blinded,  and  who  reigned  under  the  title  of  Bela  II.  the  Blind. 
Bela  revenged  himself  cruelly  on  all  whom  he  suspected  of  having 
caused  his  misfortunes,  and  it  is  related  that  in  one  single  day  at 
the  diet  of  Arad,  in  11 32,  he  ordered  sixty-eight  of  his  enemies  to 
be  slain.  Geiza  II.,  the  son  of  Bela,  succeeded  him,  in  1141,  at 
the  age  of  ten.  Comparatively  speaking,  his  reign  was  a  happy 
one;  and  it  was  marked  by  an  event  of  considerable  importance  in 
the  internal  history  of  Hungary — ^the  arrival  of  Saxon  colonists 
in  northern  Hungary  and  Transylvania.  Faithful  to  the  teaching 
of  St.  Stephen,  Geiza  settled  them  in  the  comitat  of  Zips  at  the  foot 
of  the  Carpathians,  and  in  the  valley  of  Maros,  on  the  left  bank  of 
the  lower  Theiss.  The  Germans  were  easily  able  to  reclaim  the 
forests  which  clothed  the  sides  of  the  Tatra,  and  founded  there  four 
and  twenty  towns,  which  had  the  right  of  electing  their  own  priests 



and  magistrates  according  to  statutes  written  in  their  own  language. 
Their  obligations  to  the  king  were  light:  they  had  to  furnish  him 
with  a  certain  number  of  troops,  and  to  recognize  his  supreme  au- 
thority in  judicial  matters.  The  Saxons  of  Transylvania  enjoyed 
complete  autonomy.  Sole  proprietors  of  the  soil,  they  could  pre- 
vent the  settlement  on  it  of  Magyars  or  Szeklers,  and  their  national 
assemblies  had  an  exclusive  right  to  make  the  laws. 

The  reign  of  Stephen  III.,  son  of  Geiza  IL,  was  disturbed  by 
the  rivalry  of  his  two  uncles,  and  unsuccessful  attempts  to  bring 
Hungary  under  the  Eastern  empire.  His  brother,  Bela  HI.,  owing 
to  his  Byzantine  education,  was  at  first  received  with  distrust,  but 
his  ability  and  moderation  gained  him  the  confidence  and  love  of 
his  people.  It  was  he  who  married  Margaret  of  France,  the  daugh- 
ter of  Philip  Augustus,  and  compiled  a  most  interesting  statement 
of  the  revenues  of  his  kingdom. 

The  reigns  of  these  three  princes  were  signalized  by  wars 
against  the  Russians  of  Galicia  and  against  Venice.  Bela  had, 
however,  obliged  one  part  of  Galicia  to  do  homage  to  him,  and  on 
this  were  founded  the  claims  of  Hungary  to  Galicia,  claims  to 
which  Andrew  IL  hoped  to  give  color  by  taking  the  title  of  king 
of  Galicia  and  Lodomeria,  and  which  were  revived  by  Austria  at 
the  time  of  the  first  partition  of  Poland. 

Meantime  the  republic  of  Venice,  seeing  the  rule  of  Hungary 
definitely  established  on  the  shores  of  the  Adriatic,  took  alarm  at 
so  formidable  a  neighbor.  The  Doge  Falieri  asked  for  the  alliance 
and  help  of  Constantinople,  whose  power  was  also  threatened  by 
the  growth  of  Hungary.  In  the  war  which  followed  the  town  of 
Belgrade,  where  Koloman  had  had  himself  crowned,  was  entirely 
destroyed,  and  Zara,  on  the  Adriatic,  left  in  possession  of  the  Vene- 
tians. The  rest  of  Dalmatia  remained  in  the  hands  of  Bela  III.; 
he  treated  the  province  well,  and  confided  its  defense  to  the  familv 
of  the  Frangipani,  henceforward  well  known  in  history. 

The  relations  of  Hungary  with  the  two  empires  of  the  East 
and  West  spread  the  renown  of  her  power  through  the  whole  of 
Europe.  In  1147  King  Louis  VII.  and  the  Emperor  Conrad 
crossed  Hungary  on  their  crusade,  and  Louis  VII.  speaks  highly 
in  his  letters  to  Suger  of  the  warm  welcome  which  he  received, 
though  the  German  chronicler,  Otto  of  Freising,  draws  a  pic- 
ture of  the  country  which  is  not  very  flattering,  and  represents 
the  Magyars  as  little  more  than  well-disciplined  savages :  "  One 



might  well  reproach  fortune,  or  stand  amazed  at  the  long-suffer- 
ing of  God,  when  one  sees  so  fair  a  country  in  the  possession 
of  such  monsters."  The  connection  with  France  was  strengthened 
by  the  marriage  of  Bela  with  the  Princess  Margaret.  Hun- 
garian students  began  to  find  their  way  to  Paris.  When  Fred- 
erick Barbarossa  crossed  the  country  at  the  head  of  the  third  Cru- 
sade, in  1 189,  he  was  received  with  great  magnificence,  fetes 
were  held  in  his  honor,  and  Constance,  the  daughter  of  Bela,  was 
affianced  to  the  duke  of  Suabia.  The  relations  of  Hungary  with 
Byzantium  were  less  friendly.  On  several  occasions  Constantinople 
endeavored  to  bring  the  country  under  her  control;  but  with  the 
help  of  Vladislav,  king  of  Bohemia,  the  Hungarians  were  able  to 
maintain  their  independence. 

The  period  following  the  death  of  Bela  HI.  is  marked  by  the 
rivalry  b^ween  his  two  sons,  Emerich,  who  ruled  from  1196  to 
1204,  and  Andrew,  king  from  1205  to  1235.  The  latter  became 
very  unpopular  because  of  the  infamous  favorites  brought  to  the 
court  by  his  wife,  Gertrude  of  Meran.  Indignant  at  the  scandalous 
life  of  the  court,  the  people  rose  against  the  queen  and  slew  her 
while  her  husband  was  absent  in  Galicia,  which  he  was  vainly  try- 
ing to  bring  under  his  scepter.  He  soon  married  again,  and  in 
1 21 7  set  out  on  a  Crusade,  from  which  he  returned  because  of  ill- 
health,  without  having  reached  the  Holy  Lands. 

On  his  return  he  found  Hungary  in  the  greatest  disorder.  The 
royal  authority  had  been  much  diminished  since  the  days  of  Kolo- 
man,  a  feudal  oligarchy  had  grown  up,  and  the  clergy  had  pos- 
sessed themselves  of  secular  estates.  The  hereditary  right  of  the 
family  of  Arpad  to  the  crown  was  still  contested,  nor  was  the  law 
of  primogeniture  accepted  within  the  family  itself.  We  have  al- 
ready seen  formidable  rivals  disputing  the  throne  in  several  of  the 
reigns.  The  support  of  the  great  territorial  lords,  lay  and  ecclesi- 
astical, had  become  of  great  importance  to  the  sovereign,  and  to 
obtain  it  he  had  gradually  deprived  himself  of  his  domains  to  divide 
them  among  a  powerful  and  greedy  minority  of  his  subjects.  The 
smaller  landholders  were  neglected,  and  diets  met  less  frequently. 
The  great  dignitaries  of  the  church,  enriched  by  the  royal  bounty, 
had  become  a  state  within  the  state  and  relied  upon  the  Pope  to  re- 
sist the  royal  commands.  The  Holy  See,  faithful  to  the  traditions 
of  Gregory  VH.,  endeavored  to  exercise  within  the  kingdom  an 
authority  equal,  if  not  superior,  to  that  of  the  king.    The  state  of 



the  whole  kingdom  called  for  prompt  remedies ;  but  far  from  daring 
to  carry  out  energetic  measures,  Andrew  yielded  continually  to  the 
current  which  had  swept  before  it  each  one  of  his  predecessors,  and, 
in  1 219.  he  issued  an  edict  making  all  gifts  and  honors  granted  by 
previous  kings  irrevocable  and  hereditary.  The  result  of  such  a 
measure  would  have  been  to  create  a  complete  oligarchy,  on  which 
thenceforth  both  king  and  populace  would  have  been  dependent. 

But  the  edict  gave  rise  to  much  discontent.  A  diet  was  sum- 
moned in  1222,  and  a  law  enacted  known  as  the  Golden  Bull — the 
Magna  Charta  of  Hungary.  In  it  Andrew  II.,  calling  himself 
hereditary  king  of  Hungary,  Dalmatia,  Croatia,  Servia,  Galicia, 
and  Lodomeria,  solemnly  enumerates  the  privileges  of  the  people, 
or  rather  of  the  small  landowners.  He  promised  to  hold  a  solemn 
diet  each  year  in  the  town  of  Stuhlweissenburg ;  to  imprison  no 
noble  until  he  had  been  regularly  tried  and  sentenced;  tt>  raise  no 
tax  on  the  lands  of  either  noble  or  priest;  to  summon  no  noble  to 
accompany  the  king,  at  his  own  expense,  beyond  the  frontiers  of 
the  kingdom;  to  allow  no  suit  which  involved  the  loss  of  life  or 
property  to  be  tried  by  the  palatine  without  the  knowledge  of  the 
king;  to  indemnify  the  families  of  those  nobles  who  lost  any  relations 
in  the  wars ;  to  admit  no  guests  or  colonists  on  the  soil  of  Hungary 
to  any  dignity  whatsoever  without  the  consent  of  the  diet;  no 
longer  to  make  hereditary  the  grants  of  coraitats  or  offices;  to 
allow  tithes  to  be  paid  in  kind  and  not  in  money ;  and  to  grant  land 
to  no  foreigner.  The  Golden  Bull  contained  thirty-one  articles, 
of  which  these  are  the  chief,  while  the  last  ordained  that  seven 
copies  should  be  made  of  it,  and  sent  to  the  king,  to  the  Pope,  to  the 
Knights  Hospitalers,  to  the  Temple,  to  the  chapter  house  at  Gran, 
to  the  chapter  house  at  Kalosca,  and  to  the  palatine,  who  was  to  see 
that  the  charter  was  observed  by  the  kings  and  the  nobles.  If  the 
king  should  attempt  to  violate  it,  "  the  bishops  and  nobles  of  the 
kingdom  have  the  right  to  remonstrate,  and  to  resist  the  sovereign, 
sine  nota  alicujus  itiMelitatis,"  i.  e.,  without  by  so  doing  laying 
themselves  open  to  the  charge  of  high  treason.  This  last  article 
was  to  play  an  important  part  in  the  history  of  Hungary,  for  to  it 
are  due  many  of  those  rebellions  which  give  so  revolutionary  a 
character  to  the  history  of  a  country  otherwise  so  conservative. 

The  constitution  of  Andrew  II.  is  far  from  fulfilling  the  ideal 
of  modem  times.  It  was,  nevertheless,  a  great  advantage  then  and 
maintained  the  unity  of  Hungary  by  preventing  hereditary  succes- 



sion  to  office  and  the  consequent  division  of  the  country  into  a  num- 
ber of  principalities.  It  secured  to  the  nation — ^that  is  to  say  to 
the  nobles — the  right  of  criticising  the  administration,  and  it 
obliged  the  king  to  respect  the  national  rights  by  placing  all  his 
actions  under  the  control  of  the  palatine,  who  thus  became  a  sort 
of  prime  minister. 

Soon  after  the  promulgation  of  the  Golden  Bull  a  special 
charter  was  granted  to  the  Saxons  of  Transylvania,  securing  their 
privileges.  Their  political  and  religious  autonomy  was  confirmed; 
they  were  to  be  subject  to  no  authority  except  a  court  chosen  by  the 
king.  In  return  they  were  to  furnish  him  with  five  hundred  armed 
men  in  case  of  a  defensive  war,  and  one  hundred  for  foreign  expedi- 
tions. The  Golden  Bull  was  again  solemnly  confirmed  in  1231,  when 
some  new  clauses  were  added  to  it,  which  enacted  that  the  bishops 
were  to  be  present  at  the  yearly  diet  at  Stuhlweissenburg ;  that  if 
the  palatine  ruled  badly,  the  states  were  to  choose  one  more  worthy ; 
and  also  that  no  Jew  or  Mussulman  was  to  receive  govern- 
ment  employment. 

The  reign  of  Andrew  II.  has  become  memorable  in  the  history 
of  Hungary  owing  to  the  Golden  Bull ;  apart  from  that  it  was  not 
fortunate.  Like  King  John  of  England,  his  name  is  associated 
with  a  legislative  document  of  the  highest  importance,  but,  like  him, 
he  has  left  behind  a  reputation  for  feebleness  and  want  of  character. 
His  son,  Bela  IV.,  began  his  reign  in  1235,  under  the  best  auspices. 
He  withstood  his  enemies  both  from  within  and  without,  among 
them  the  Emperor  Frederick  II.,  who  had  put  forward  a  claim  to 
tribute  from  Hungary.  Unfortunately  he  soon  had  to  deal  with  a 
more  pitiless  enemy  than  the  Germans.  The  Tatar  Khan,  the 
Mongol  Batou,  followed  by  a  formidable  army,  forced  his  way 
through  the  defiles  of  the  Carpathians  and  invaded  the  valley  of  the 

The  Mongols  belonged  to  the  same  race  as  the  Magyars, 
but  the  Magyars  had  become  Christian  and  European.  These  pagan 
Mongols  attacked  Europe  with  a  fanaticism  which  can  be  compared 
only  with  that  of  the  Saracens ;  but  while  the  Mussulmans  founded 
new  states,  and  had  in  fact  attained  to  a  high  degree  of  civilization, 
the  Mongols  were  nothing  but  destroyers. 

The  alarm  of  their  approach  was  great  throughout  the  land. 
The  bloody  sword  was  sent  from  town  to  town,  from  castle  to  cas- 
tle.    The   Cumans,   who   formed   the  vanguard   of   national   re- 



sistance,  were  unable  to  withstand  their  onslaught,  and  Waizen 
fell.  In  the  general  terror  the  Cumans  were  accused  of  treason, 
and  their  chief  and  the  leading  men  among  them  were  put  to  death, 
which  so  angered  the  tribe  that  they  passed  over  to  the  side  of  the 
Mongols.  The  royal  army  came  up  with  the  forces  of  Batou  on 
the  banks  of  the  Sajo,  a  tributary  of  the  Theiss,  and  there  suffered 
a  terrible  defeat,  in  which,  according  to  some  historians,  a  hundred 
thousand,  according  to  others  sixty  thousand,  men  perished. 
"Fere  extinguitur  militia  regni  Hungarice"  writes  the  emperor 
Frederick.  Hungary  as  far  as  the  Danube  was  at  the  mercy  of  the 
barbarians;  Pesth  was  taken;  Varad  yielded  after  a  heroic  resist- 
ance ;  Csanad  was  destroyed.  The  Mongols  pushed  forward  as  far 
as  Croatia,  where  the  Croats  put  a  stop  to  their  further  progress  by 
the  victory  of  Grobnik  in  1241.  After  many  adventures,  Bela 
found  refuge  in  Austria,  where  Duke  Frederick,  to  whose  care  he 
had  confided  his  family  and  treasures,  took  shameful  advantage  of 
his  misfortunes.  In  exchange  for  the  hospitality  which  he  granted, 
he  obliged  Bela  to  give  up  to  him  the  three  Hungarian  comitats 
which  lay  nearest  to  the  Austrian  states.  At  last  Christendom  was 
aroused.  King  Vacslav  of  Bohemia  called  upon  the  princes  to 
come  to  the  aid  of  Hungary,  and  the  Pope  ordered  a  crusade  to  be 
preached.  With  the  usual  disinterestedness  of  German  sovereigns, 
the  emperor  offered  to  save  Hungary  on  condition  that  he  should 
receive  her  homage.  Meantime,  winter  came  on,  and  the  frozen 
rivers  became  the  allies  of  the  invaders.  The  Mongols  crossed  the 
Danube  and  took  Gran.  Bela  fled  to  Dalmatia,  closely  followed  by 
the  barbarians;  but  they  did  not  succeed  in  seizing  him,  and  the 
Slavs  of  Dalmatia  and  the  Italian  colonists  finally  repulsed  them  in 
furious  conflicts.  Beaten  back,  they  next  penetrated  as  far  as  Ra- 
gfusa,  and  would  have  gone  still  farther  had  they  not  received  orders 
to  retrace  their  steps.  The  Asiatic  hordes  returned  to  Asia,  the 
most  horrible  cruelty  marking  the  last  days  of  their  ephemeral 

Slowly  Hungary  recovered  from  the  ruin  they  had  caused; 
colonists  from  Germany  filled  up  the  gaps  in  the  population,  and 
towns  were  rebuilt,  surrounded  by  stronger  fortifications,  and 
adorned  with  finer  buildings.  But  from  this  time  forward  Hungary 
had  an  enemey  even  more  formidable  in  the  house  of  Austria. 
We  have  already  seen  how  the  unknightly  Frederick  had  taken  ad- 
vantage of  the  misery  of  Hungary  to  get  possession  of  three  of  her 



comitats.  As  soon  as  he  was  free  from  the  Mongols  Bela  set  to 
work  to  reconquer  them.  He  marched  against  Frederick  and  de- 
feated him  on  the  banks  of  the  Leitha,  in  1246,  Frederick  perish- 
ing in  the  fight.  With  this  prince  the  house  of  Babenberg  came  to 
an  end.  Bohemia  and  Hungary  both  laid  claim  to  the  inheritance, 
and  though  Bela  was  unable  to  prevent  the  king  of  Bohemia  from 
gaining  possession  of  Austria,  he  succeeded  in  establishing  his  own 
son  Stephen  in  Styria.  War  broke  out  between  the  two  kingdoms, 
and  ended  in  favor  of  Bohemia.  But  Premysl  Otokar  H.  proved 
a  generous  foe;  he  would  not,  according  to  his  own  expression, 
"  enfeeble  the  great  kingdom  of  Hungary,  only  to  open  again 
the  road  to  the  two  kingdoms  to  the  Tatars."  Later  on  he  married 
the  daughter  of  the  king  of  Hungary. 

But  there  was  soon  to  appear  upon  the  scene  a  third  com- 
batant, who  knew  how  to  turn  to  his  own  advantage  the  rivalry  of 
the  two  kingdoms;  this  was  Rudolf  of  Hapsburg.  Rudolf  drew 
Ladislas  IV.  into  an  alliance,  and  at  the  battle  of  Marchfield,  where 
Premysl  Otokar  fell,  56,000  Hungarians  and  Cumans  fought  by 
the  side  of  Austria.  Thus  Hungary,  while  she  ruined  Bohemia, 
founded  the  power  of  Austria,  which  was  so  soon  to  be  turned 
against  herself.  In  his  letters  written  at  this  time  Rudolf  shows 
the  greatest  tenderness  for  the  Hungarians :  "  My  beloved  sons, 
bone  of  my  bone,  and  flesh  of  my  flesh  " ;  a  dozen  years  later,  as 
emperor,  he  claimed  the  right  to  dispose  of  the  crown  of  Hungary 
as  its  suzerain. 

The  last  years  of  King  Bela  IV.  had  been  disturbed  by  the  re- 
volts of  his  son  Stephen.  In  fact  this  prince  was  the  real  king,  and 
it  was  to  him  that  the  envoys  of  the  duke  of  Anjou  applied  when 
they  came  to  negotiate  the  marriages  which  were  to  secure  Hungary 
to  the  Angevin  house.  His  young  son,  Ladislas,  succeeded  him  in 
1272,  a  foolish  and  dissipated  prince,  who  earned  the  hatred  of 
his  people  by  his  avowed  partiality  for  the  Cumans.  This  wander- 
ing and  half-pagan  race  were  still  looked  upon  as  almost  foreigners 
by  the  rest  of  the  nation.  Ladislas  determined  to  convert  them  to 
Christianity  and  to  a  settled  mode  of  life,  and  assigned  to  them  that 
district  between  the  Danube  and  the  Theiss  which  is  called  to  this 
day  Greater  and  Lesser  Cumania.  Ladislas,  who  betrayed  a  par- 
tiality for  their  women  that  was  unworthy  of  his  position,  was 
assassinated  by  the  Cumans  in  1290.  He  left  no  son,  but  he  had 
adopted  the  grandson  of  Andrew  II.,  and  this  prince  was  crowned 



under  the  name  of  Andrew  III.  Andrew  energetically  resisted  the 
claims  of  the  Hapsburgs  and  of  the  Holy  See,  repulsed  the  invasion 
of  Albert  of  Austria,  and  laid  siege  to  Vienna.  The  court  of  Rome, 
which  was  favorable  to  the  Neapolitan  princes  of  the  house  of 
Anjou,  would  never  recognize  Andrew  III.,  and  during  his  reign 
Charles  Robert  of  Anjou  forced  his  way  into  Croatia,  and  had 
himself  crowned  at  Agram  by  the  Papal  legate.  The  death  of  An- 
drew, in  1 301,  put  an  end  to  these  rivalries.  He  was  the  last 
prince  of  the  house  of  Arpad. 

Hungary  is  still  grateful  to  these  monarchs  of  the  transition 
period  who  laid  down  the  lines  along  which  the  Magyar  race  was 
to  develop.  On  various  occasions  they  had  tried  to  extend  their 
rule  over  the  neighboring  countries,  but  the  titles  of  king  of  Servia, 
of  Bosnia,  of  Galicia  and  Lodomeria,  and  of  Bulgaria,  had  never 
represented  any  real  authority,  and  at  most  recall  a  momentary 
occupation  or  an  ephemeral  protection.  The  only  important  acquisi- 
tion of  the  dynasty  of  Arpad  was  the  annexation  of  Croatia, 
which  gave  Hungary  a  seaboard.  We  have  already  described  how 
Croatia  preserved  her  autonomy.  Transylvania  also,  at  the  other 
extremity  of  the  kingdom,  had  her  own  peculiar  constitution.  The 
Transylvanian  diet  was  divided  into  three  nations,  the  Hungarians, 
the  Szeklers,  and  the  Saxons.  The  old  inhabitants  of  the  country, 
the  Wallachians,  who  had  been  conquered  by  the  Magyars  or  by 
the  Saxon  colonists,  were  only  peasants  and  counted  for  nothing. 
The  Szeklers,  who  were  all  freemen  and  noble,  formed  a  special 
body  of  horsemen  to  whom  was  intrusted  the  defense  of  the  fron- 
tier, and  in  return  for  this  service  they  were  exempted  from 

We  have  seen  how  the  constitution  of  Andrew  II.  had  placed 
obstacles  in  the  way  of  the  increase  of  power  among  the  oligarchical 
aristocracy  and  territorial  lords,  and  had  aimed  at  preventing  the 
partition  of  the  kingdom.  The  lesser  nobles  were  always  on  the 
watch  to  maintain  their  own  privileges  and  to  prevent  encroach- 
ments on  the  part  of  the  great  lords.  About  this  time  we  first  see 
a  distinction  growing  up  between  magnates  and  simple  deputies. 
The  assemblies  of  the  comitats  became  periodical,  and  formed  the 
best  guarantee  of  public  liberty.  The  citizen  class  was  without 
political  influence,  and  was  largely  composed  of  foreigners,  Jews, 
Germans,  and  Italians.  Considerable  privileges  were  accorded  to 
the  Jews,  who  were  so  ill-treated  in  other  parts  of  Europe.     During 



this  period  also  vines  began  to  be  cultivated  and  wine  of  good 
quality  produced. 

The  Hungarian  nobles  gradually  imitated  the  nobles  of  the 
rest  of  Europe,  introducing  into  the  country  knightly  manners 
and  usages.  They  began  to  take  an  hereditary  name  from  their 
estates,  and  to  use  coats-of-arms,  and  trials  by  combat  became  the 

Those  arts  which  are  the  most  delicate  expression  of  civiliza- 
tion had  made  much  less  progress  in  Hungary  than  elsewhere.  The 
Gothic  style  of  architecture,  however,  penetrated  into  the  country, 
and  French  architects  were  employed  at  this  time.  A  Frenchman, 
Villard  de  Hannecourt,  built  the  Gothic  church  at  Kassa,  and 
Mathias  of  Arras  the  cathedral  at  Prague.  The  clergy  distin- 
guished themselves  rather  by  their  courage  in  battle  or  their  ardor 
in  fighting  heresy  than  by  their  learning.  In  1279  the  synod  of 
Buda,  alarmed  doubtless  at  the  progress  of  the  Patarine  heresy, 
placed  a  limit  on  the  knowledge  which  monks  were  to  be  allowed 
to  acquire,  and  forbade  them  to  study  in  foreign  schools.  The 
most  important  school  in  the  kingdom  was  the  studium  generate  at 
Veszprim,  which  conferred  no  degrees,  but  which  endowed  scholar- 
ships at  the  University  of  Paris  for  its  best  students.  Latin  was 
universally  known  and  studied  among  the  upper  classes,  but  at  the 
same  time  books  were  so  rare  that  a  complete  copy  of  the  Bible  cost 
half  of  a  village.  The  Magyar  tongue  tended  to  give  way  before 
Latin,  which  was  the  medium  of  the  church  and  of  the  government ; 
it  was,  however,  still  used,  though  very  few  fragments  have  come 
down  to  us  from  these  primitive  times :  only  a  funeral  oration  and  a 
legend  of  St.  Margaret. 

Chapter    VII 


BORIVOJ  was  the  first  Christian  prince  of  Bohemia.  He 
built  the  first  Bohemian  church,  and  dedicated  it  to  St.  Cle- 
ment. His  son  Spytihnev  (894-912)  put  an  end  to  the 
connection  of  Bohemia  with  Moravia,  and  went  to  Regensburg 
to  ask  for  the  protection  of  Germany,  in  the  vain  belief  that  by 
so  doing  he  made  the  independence  of  his  kingdom  more  secure. 
Bohemia  was  attached  to  the  bishopric  of  Ratisbon,  and  the  Latin 
liturgy  replaced  the  Slav  liturgy,  of  which  but  few  traces  now  re- 
main in  the  country. 

At  this  period  Bohemia  was  far  from  being  a  united  kingdom. 
It  consisted  of  a  number  of  small  states,  with  the  principality  of 
Prague  as  the  chief,  which  were  often  at  war  with  one  another. 
These  dissensions  proved  most  favorable  to  the  ambition  of  Ger- 
many. In  928  Henry  the  Fowler,  in  alliance  with  Arnulf  of  Ba- 
varia, entered  Bohemia  and  obliged  St.  Vacslav,  the  prince,  to  pay 
him  an  annual  tribute  of  500  pieces  of  gold  and  120  oxen.  It  was 
St.  Vacslav  who  founded  the  cathedral  of  St.  Vit,  at  Prague,  and 
legends  have  surrounded  his  name  with  a  halo  of  tender  memories. 
Like  Robert  the  Pious  and  St.  Louis,  he  has  become  the  typical 
example  of  a  devout  and  charitable  prince.  During  his  life,  as  well 
as  after  his  death,  he  was  believed  to  work  miracles.  When  en- 
gaged in  single  combat  against  a  prince  of  the  Czechs  an  angel  from 
heaven  bore  him  company  and  terrified  his  adversary  by  the  won- 
drous sight.  When  they  took  his  body  from  Boleslava  to  Prague 
the  car  which  bore  it  crossed  by  itself  a  river  over  which  there  was 
no  bridge.  On  arriving  before  the  court  of  justice  it  stopped  sud- 
denly and  could  not  be  moved;  it  was  discovered  that  an  innocent 
man  was  unjustly  imprisoned  in  the  building,  and  as  soon  as  he  was 
set  at  liberty  the  car  went  on.  The  name  of  Vacslav,  under  its 
I^tin  form  of  Venceslas,  or  the  German  form  Wenzel,  became 
popular  throughout  Europe,  and  Bohemians  still  sing  the  old  can- 




tide  of  the  Middle  Ages:  " Svaty  Vacslave,  vevodo  ceske  seme." 
"  St.  Vacslav,  voievode  of  the  land  of  the  Czechs,  our  prince !  pray 
for  us  to  God  and  the  Holy  Spirit,  kyrie  eleison."  His  portrait 
long  adorned  the  standards  and  the  coins  of  Bohemia. 

His  brother  and  successor,  Boleslav,  who,  it  is  said,  assassi- 
nated him  for  patriotic  reasons,  tried  to  rid  Bohemia  of  the  suze- 
rainty of  the  German  emperor,  but  as  a  result  of  defeat  in  a  war 
lasting  from  936  to  950  he  was  obliged  to  submit  to  the  Emperor 
Otto  and  pay  the  tribute.  Afterward  he  became  the  firm  ally  of 
Otto,  and  sent  a  thousand  Czechs  to  help  him  against  the  Magyars. 
He  himself  took  possession  of  part  of  Moravia  and  the  land  of  the 
Slovaks,  while  his  conquests  on  the  banks  of  the  Vistula  brought 
him  into  close  neighborhood  to  the  Poles.  His  daughter,  Dubravka, 
married  the  Polish  prince,  Mieczyslaw,  and  converted  him  to  Chris- 
tianity, thus  bringing  Poland  into  the  bosom  of  the  church  in  966. 

Boleslav  H.  (967-999)  continued  his  father's  conquests  to- 
ward the  east,  and  took  possession  of  Galicia,  but  that  province 
was  recovered  later  on  by  the  Russian  prince,  Vladimir  the  Great 
in  981.  At  this  period  the  power  of  Bohemia  was  considerable, 
and  Boleslav  was  able  to  interfere  as  arbiter  in  the  conflicts  which 
took  place  between  the  German  margraves  and  the  duke  of  Poland. 
He  obtained  permission  from  the  emperor  and  the  bishop  of  Ratis- 
bon  to  found  a  see  at  Prague,  subject  to  the  archbishop  of  Mainz; 
the  bishop  to  be  chosen  by  the  prince  and  the  people,  but  to  re- 
ceive investiture  from  the  emperor.  The  first  bishop  was  a  Saxon 
priest  called  Thietmar,  and  his  successor  was  the  celebrated  Czech 
saint,  Vojtech,  better  known  under  the  name  of  St.  Adalbert,  one 
of  the  great  figures  in  the  religious  history  of  the  Middle  Ages. 

After  having  organized  the  church  of  Bohemia,  St.  Adalbert 
was  invited  into  Hungary  by  Geiza  I.,  whose  son,  the  future  king 
St.  Stephen,  he  baptized.  Later  on  he  gave  up  his  bishopric,  and 
after  being  for  a  time  the  confessor  of  Otto  HI.,  he  traveled  into 
Poland,  whose  king,  Boleslav  the  Brave,  sent  him  to  convert  the 
heathen  on  the  shores  of  the  Baltic.  In  these  distant  lands  he  was 
murdered  by  the  Prussians  in  997.  Boleslav  the  Brave  caused  him 
to  be  buried  in  the  church  at  Gnesen,  whither,  three  years  later, 
the  Emperor  Otto  came  to  worship  at  his  grave.  The  Poles  ascribe 
to  him  the  first  of  their  religious  songs,  the  most  ancient  monument 
of  their  language,  the  hymn  to  the  Virgin  beginning  "  Boga  rod- 
ska."     Prince    Boleslav    H.    successfully    defended    his    country 



against  the  attacks  of  the  Germans  and  Poles,  notwithstanding  the 
fact  that  Bohemia  was  distracted  in  his  reign  by  civil  wars.  In 
his  time  monasteries  were  first  founded,  schools  arose  around  the 
churches,  and  Latin  civilization  spread  more  and  more  throughout 
the  land. 

Under  the  successors  of  Boleslav  II.  Bohemia  fell  into  a  state 
of  deplorable  anarchy,  and  became  alternately  the  tool  of  Germany 
and  Poland.  A  powerful  sovereign,  Boleslav  the  Brave,  reigned  at 
this  time  in  Poland,  and  he  obliged  Bohemia  to  accept  as  her  ruler 
a  Polish  prince  named  Vladivoj,  who,  however,  afterward  recog- 
nized the  suzerainty  of  the  empire  and  acknowledged  himself  its 
vassal.  Boleslav  the  Brave  tried  to  conquer  Bohemia  for 
himself,  but  he  did  not  succeed,  Bretislav  (1037-1055)  finally 
establishing  the  independence  of  Bohemia  and  introducing  an  era 
of  renewed  vigor.  He  also  took  advantage  of  the  fact  that  Poland 
had  been  left  without  a  ruler.  After  the  death  of  Boleslav  the  Brave 
he  conquered  Silesia  and  Lesser  Poland,  and  took  Cracow  by  assault 
He  next  entered  Greater  Poland  and  pushed  on  to  Gnesen,  took 
possession  of  the  remains  of  the  national  apostle,  St.  Adalbert, 
and  bore  them  off  to  Prague.  But  he  was  ordered  by  the  emperor 
to  g^ve  up  his  conquests,  and  of  all  the  territory  he  had  seized  he 
retained  only  a  part  of  Silesia  with  the  episcopal  see  of  Vratislav, 
or  Breslau. 

Bretislav  had  five  sons,  and,  fearful  of  the  disputes  which 
might  arise  among  them,  he  ordained  that  henceforward  succession 
to  the  throne  should  be  determined  by  primogeniture,  while  younger 
sons  were  to  receive  dependent  appanages,  a  settlement  known  as  the 
seniorate.  This  wise  arrangement  was,  however,  but  little  re- 
spected. His  successor,  Spytihnev  II.,  maintained  his  place  with 
difficulty  till  his  death,  in  1061,  when  he  was  succeeded  by  Vratislav 
II.,  who  became  the  first  king  of  Bohemia  (1061-1092).  He  di- 
vided Moravia  between  his  two  brothers,  giving  to  the  one  Olmiitz, 
and  to  the  other  Briinn.  He  also  founded  a  bishopric  at  Olmiitz. 
The  beginning  of  his  reign  was  marked  by  an  incident  which  re- 
veals the  hostility  of  the  Czechs  to  the  German  favorites  who  held 
high  civil  and  ecclesiastical  offices,  and  through  princely  marriages 
and  the  ecclesiastical  organization  drew  Bohemia  closer  to  Ger- 
many. When  in  1069  Vratislav  wished  to  nominate  as  bishop 
of  Prague  a  German  named  Lanzon,  the  nobles  and  military  chiefs 
who  were  assembled  round  his  camp  near  Nachod   demanded  the 



bishopric  for  the  Prince  Jaromir,  who,  in  the  end,  succeeded  in 
obtaining  it,  though,  according  to  custom,  he  was  obliged  to  go  to 
Mainz  to  receive  investiture  from  the  archbishop. 

Vratislav  lent  the  aid  of  his  troops  to  the  Emperor  Henry  IV. 
in  his  struggles  against  the  Saxons,  and  in  return  for  this  he  ob- 
tained possession  of  Lusatia,  a  Slav  district,  which  was  thus  united 
to  Bohemia.  Later  on  he  again  helped  the  emperor  in  his  expedi- 
tions against  Italy,  three  hundred  Czech  warriors  taking  part  in 
the  siege  of  Rome,  and  as  a  reward  for  this  service  the  emperor 
granted  him  the  title  of  king  in  1086,  He  also  gave  up  the  tribute 
hitherto  paid  to  the  empire  by  Bohemia  in  exchange  for  a  loan  of 
four  thousand  marks  of  silver.  Henceforward  Bohemia  was  only 
bound  to  furnish  to  the  emperor  three  hundred  armed  knights,  well 
equipped,  for  expeditions  into  Italy.  On  June  15,  1086,  Vratislav 
and  his  wife  Svatova  were  solemnly  crowned  at  Prague,  in  the 
cathedral  of  St.  Vit,  by  the  Archbishop  Egilbert.  Thus  was  con- 
stituted that  kingdom  of  Bohemia  which,  with  the  kingdom  of 
Hungary,  was  one  day  to  form  a  principal  part  of  the  Austrian 
empire.  In  order  to  understand  the  struggles  of  modern  politics 
it  is  needful  to  recall  the  double  origin  of  the  two  kingdoms, 
the  one  founded  by  the  Holy  See,  the  other  by  the  empire.  Hence 
arose  those  retrospective  claims  on  Bohemia  which  Germany  has 
since  put  forward.  The  title  of  king  bestowed  on  Vratislav  was, 
however,  purely  personal,  and  was  not  transmitted  to  his  successors. 

The  reigns  of  the  immediate  successors  of  Vratislav  offer  but 
few  points  of  interest.  Bretislav  II.  (1092-1111)  abolished  the 
wise  law  which  had  established  primogeniture  in  the  family  of 
the  Premyslides.  He  even  asked  the  Emperor  Henry  IV.  to  grant 
the  investiture  to  his  brother  Borivoi,  and  by  so  doing  recognized  the 
imperial  right  to  treat  Bohemia  as  a  fief  of  the  empire,  threw 
her  provinces  into  their  old  state  of  anarchy,  and  strengthened  the 
claims  which  Germany  was  continually  advancing  over  Bohemia. 
Hence  arose  a  long  series  of  conflicts  between  the  princes  of  Prague, 
Olmiitz,  and  Briinn,  conflicts  in  which  the  empire  took  occasion 
more  than  once  to  interfere,  selling  its  protection  to  one  or  the  other 
of  the  combatants.  Indeed,  during  this  period  Germany,  Bohemia, 
Moravia,  and  Poland  were  perpetually  at  war  with  one  another, 
and  the  emperor  claimed  the  right  to  dispose  of  Bohemia  as  a  fief. 
More  than  once  these  pretensions  met  with  energetic  resistance. 
Thus  Prince  Sobeslav  I.  did  not  hesitate  to  declare  war  against 



Lothair,  who  had  claimed  the  right  of  giving  Bohemia  to  whom  he 
pleased,  and  had  bestowed  it  on  Prince  Otto  of  Olmiitz.  Sobeslav 
refused  to  appear  before  the  tribunal  before  which  he  was  cited  by 
the  emperor,  and  replied  in  these  proud  words:  "My  hope  is  in 
the  mercy  of  God  and  in  the  help  of  St.  Vacslav  and  St.  Vojtech, 
who  will  not  see  this  country  delivered  into  the  hands  of  for- 
eigners," The  Bohemians  rallied  round  the  standard  of  St.  Vac- 
slav, and  the  emperor,  vanquished  at  Chlumec,  was  obliged  to  re- 
nounce his  claims  and  to  recognize  Sobeslav  as  prince  of  Bohemia 
in  1 1 26.  He  even  conferred  on  him  the  title  of  high  cupbearer  of 
the  empire. 

During  the  reign  of  Sobeslav,  in  consequence  of  the  increase 
in  the  number  of  the  various  branches  of  the  Premyslide  family, 
Bohemia  and  Moravia  were  broken  up  into  a  large  number  of  appan- 
ages, which  led  to  internal  conflicts  and  revolts  that  had  to  be 
suppressed  by  the  prince  by  force  of  arms.  He  endeavored  to 
secure  the  crown  for  his  son,  and  to  this  end  had  him  elected  by 
the  diet  of  Sadsko.  But  immediately  after  his  death  the  zhupans 
offered  the  throne  to  his  nephew,  Vladislav  H.  (1140-1173),  whom 
they  believed  they  could  direct  as  they  wished.  Vladislav  H.  did 
not  fulfill  their  hopes,  and  the  Moravian  princes  and  the  great  nobles 
entered  into  an  alliance  against  him,  raised  an  army,  and  obliged 
him  to  ask  for  help  from  the  emperor.  He  defeated  them,  forced 
them  to  retreat  to  Moravia,  and  took  from  them  the  principalities 
of  Znaim,  Brunn,  and  Olmiitz. 

During  his  reign  a  Papal  legate.  Cardinal  Guido,  was  sent  to 
Bohemia  to  supervise  the  organization  of  the  Catholic  Church; 
celibacy  was  imposed  upon  the  clerg^y,  and  the  legate  reconciled 
Vladislav  with  the  Moravian  princes,  obtaining  for  them  the  resti- 
tution of  their  estates.  Vladislav  was  the  first  Czech  prince  who 
went  on  the  Crusades.  He  left  the  government  in  the  hands  of 
his  brother  Diepolt,  in  1147,  and  with  many  Czechs  followed  the 
Emperor  Conrad  to  Jerusalem.  After  his  return  he  was  soon  at 
war  with  Frederick  Barbarossa.  Frederick  had  seized  Silesia, 
which  was  a  Bohemian  fief,  and  in  consequence  of  this  act  the 
prince  of  Bohemia  refused  the  three  hundred  armed  men  for  the 
expedition  against  Rome  that  Bohemia  was  bound  by  old  treaties 
to  furnish.  In  11 56  Silesia  was  restored  to  Bohemia,  and  finally 
Frederick  granted  Vladislav  the  title  of  king  for  himself  and  his 
successors.    In  return  the  new  king,  with  a  large  force,  joined  the 





emperor  in  the  expedition  he  was  about  to  undertake  against  Milan. 
He  was  obliged,  however,  to  raise  the  troops  at  his  own  expense, 
as  the  diet  refused  to  admit  his  right  to  levy  an  army  for  so  dis- 
tant and  useless  an  expedition. 

Later  on  Vladislav  went  to  the  aid  of  the  king  of  Hungary, 
Stephen  HI.,  whose  two  daughters  his  sons  had  married.  Again 
the  diet  refused  to  grant  him  an  army,  but  he  set  out  with  volun- 
teers and  fought  with  some  success  against  the  Eastern  emperor. 
These  victories,  which  spread  his  fame  abroad  in  foreign  lands,  did 
not,  however,  prevent  the  revolt  of  the  princes  at  home,  and  the 
Emperor  Frederick,  with  but  little  gratitude  for  old  services,  fa- 
vored their  attempts.  In  1173  Vladislav,  weary  of  power,  abdi- 
cated and  retired  to  a  convent.  Several  rivals  contended  for 
supreme  power,  and  all  were  cited  to  appear  before  the  tribunal  of 
Barbarossa  at  Nuremberg.  The  emperor  claimed  the  right  of  de- 
ciding the  succession  and,  at  the  same  time,  suppressed  the  title  of 
king  which  he  had  previously  granted  to  Vladislav.  Again  Bo- 
hemia fell  into  anarchy.  The  emperor  interfered  continually  in  its 
affairs,  and  inglorious  struggles  mark  the  period.  Only  on  the  ac- 
cession of  Premysl  Otokar  I.,  in  1197,  did  the  country  again 
breathe  freely. 

This  time  of  anarchy  proved  fatal  to  Bohemia.  The  quarrels 
among  the  princes  increased  the  power  of  the  nobles,  who  believed 
they  had  the  right  to  decide  the  election  to  the  throne,  while  they 
also  made  the  interference  of  the  empire  in  the  internal  affairs  of 
the  nation  increasingly  easy.  The  great  lords  oppressed  the  people 
and  exacted  from  them  heavy  taxes  and  enforced  labor.  To  escape 
from  these  exactions  the  small  proprietors  found  themselves  obliged 
to  seek  the  protection  of  the  more  powerful  lords,  and  this  enabled 
the  nobles  to  form  bodies  of  vassals  dependent  on  themselves. 
Magnates  who  had  supported  the  prince  at  the  time  of  his  elec- 
tion claimed  a  right  to  be  repaid  for  such  support  by  gifts  of  land. 
In  this  way  an  hereditary  nobility  was  gradually  created,  whose 
power  no  longer  depended  on  the  ofifice  they  held  in  the  household 
or  army  of  the  prince,  but  on  the  possession  of  large  estates.  The 
owners  of  these  large  estates  claimed  all  the  rights  of  sovereigns, 
the  administration  of  justice,  the  levying  of  troops,  and  the  power 
of  leading  them  to  battle  under  standards  of  their  own.  This 
hereditary  great  nobility  begins  to  take  form  toward  the  end  of  the 
twelfth  century.     It  was  naturally  much  more  independent  of  the 



prince  than  an  aristocracy  of  officials,  and  its  assemblies  were  real 
diets  in  which  the  acts  of  the  prince  were  discussed  and  controlled. 
As  early  as  the  twelfth  century  it  was  a  generally  established, 
though  unwritten,  principle  that  the  prince  had  no  right,  except  in 
the  case  of  invasion,  to  summon  the  national  army  without  the  con- 
sent of  the  diet ;  and  that  laws  could  only  be  passed  with  its  help.  It 
was  only  under  extraordinary  circumstances  that  the  king  might 
levy  taxes,  as  he  possessed  large  estates  which  amply  sufficed  for  his 
own  requirements.  As  was  the  case  throughout  Europe,  the  church 
had  acquired  considerable  influence.  Papal  legates  frequently  vis- 
ited the  country.  There  were  six  cathedral  chapters  in  Bohemia 
and  nine  Benedictine  monasteries,  besides  many  convents.  Almost 
all  the  peasants  were  serfs  of  the  soil,  some  privileges  and  a  certain 
amount  of  freedom  being  granted,  however,  to  those  who  had 
cleared  the  ground  of  forests.  There  was  but  little  commerce, 
and  what  there  was  had  fallen  mainly  into  the  hands  of  Jews  and 
foreigners,  especially  Germans.  Ever  since  the  time  of  Vratislav 
there  had  been  a  German  colony  in  Prague,  and  this  colony,  with  a 
special  court  of  its  own,  obtained  many  of  the  more  important  posi- 
tions in  the  state  and  the  church,  owing  to  the  close  relations  with 
the  empire,  the  Czech  princes  usually  marrying  German  princesses, 
who  used  their  influence  in  favor  of  their  countrymen.  We  often 
find  the  heir  to  the  throne  bearing  two  names,  one  Slav,  the  other 
German,  as  for  example  Vladislav-Heinrich,  and  the  policy  of  such 
monarchs,  who  were  half  Slav  and  half  German,  was  as  a  rule 
dynastic  rather  than  national. 

On  the  death  of  the  Emperor  Henry  IV.,  in  1197,  Philip  of 
Suabia  was  elected  emperor,  but  his  rights  were  disputed  by  Otto 
of  Brunswick.  Premysl  took  the  side  of  Philip,  and  obtained  im- 
portant advantages  for  his  country  in  exchange  for  his  services. 
The  emperor  agreed  to  interfere  no  more  in  the  internal  affairs  of 
Bohemia,  but  simply  to  confirm  her  own  choice  of  a  prince;  he 
restored  the  royal  titl^,  and  renounced  all  right  to  the  investiture 
of  the  bishop  of  Prague.  Premysl  had  himself  solemnly  crowned, 
and,  in  1204,  Innocent  III.,  by  a  special  bull,  confirmed  the  royal 
title  granted  to  the  princes  of  Bohemia. 

The  friendship  of  the  emperor  and  the  new  king  lasted  but 
a  short  time.  It  was  soon  disturbed  by  a  war  which  ended  in  a 
treaty,  followed  by  the  betrothal  of  the  emperor's  daughter,  Cune- 
gunda,  to  the  heir  of  the  king  of  Bohemia.    Later  on  Premysl  lent 



his  aid  to  Frederick  II.,  to  insure  his  election  to  the  empire,  and 
again  obtained  payment  for  his  services  by  important  concessions 
from  the  emperor.  The  kings  of  Bohemia  were  no  longer  to  be 
obliged  to  furnish  three  hundred  men  for  expeditions  to  Rome,  this 
tribute  being  replaced  by  the  payment  of  three  hundred  marks  in 
gold ;  they  were  no  longer  to  be  required  to  attend  the  diets  of  the 
empire,  unless  they  were  held  in  towns  near  their  frontiers,  such 
as  Bamburg,  Nuremberg,  or  Merseburg.  Besides  this  Frederick 
gave  Premysl  several  towns  in  Meissen,  and  when  Premysl  caused 
his  son  Vacslav  to  be  elected  and  proclaimed  by  the  national  diet, 
this  election  was  immediately  recognized  by  the  emperor.  The  suc- 
cession to  the  throne  by  the  law  of  primogeniture  in  the  direct  line 
thus  became  finally  the  law  of  the  kingdom.  Premysl  more  than 
once  used  his  power  with  an  energy  which  had  never  been  shown 
by  any  of  his  predecessors;  on  the  death  of  Vladislav,  margrave 
of  Moravia,  he  assigned  that  province  as  an  appanage  to  his  two 
younger  sons,  and  in  his  own  lifetime  he  had  his  son  Vacslav 
crowned  king  of  Bohemia.  At  this  coronation  was  omitted  for  the 
first  time  the  ceremony  of  showing  to  the  new  prince  the  sandals 
and  wallet  of  the  laborer  Premysl,  the  founder  of  the  dynasty;  no 
doubt  the  Bohemians  were  ashamed  of  this  old  national  custom, 
and  did  not  care  to  make  use  of  it  before  the  foreign  princes.  But 
the  populace  saw  in  this  omission  an  irritating  sign  of  the  increasing 
ascendency  of  the  foreigner  in  their  land.  The  number  of  Ger- 
mans in  the  capital  was  growing  rapidly,  while  in  the  provinces 
they  had  colonized  certain  towns,  and  had  even  begun  to  found 
whole  villages  on  the  northwest  frontier  of  Bohemia. 

Vacslav,  called  the  One-eyed,  peacefully  succeeded  his  father 
in  1230.  His  education  had  been  entirely  German,  and  his  reign 
proved  a  golden  age  for  the  Germans.  They  obtained  leave  to  for- 
tify the  towns  they  dwelt  in,  and  at  this  time  the  native  nobility 
began  to  build  for  themselves  strong  castles,  to  which  they  usually 
gave  German  names,  such  as  Steinberg  and  Lichtenburg.  The 
knightly  orders,  such  as  the  Hospitalers  and  Templars,  also  estab- 
lished "  commanderies  "  in  the  country,  while  the  Dominicans  and 
Begging  Friars  multiplied  greatly.  Luxury  increased,  and  knightly 
habits  and  customs  became  the  fashion.  King  Vacslav  was  one 
of  the  most  brilliant  sovereigns  in  Europe ;  he  invited  minnesingers 
to  his  court,  and  himself  composed  love  songs  after  the  fashion  of 
the  day. 



His  reign,  however,  was  not  peaceful.  The  growing  enmity 
of  the  house  of  the  Premyslides  and  the  house  of  Austria  led  to 
continual  wars  between  them,  in  which  Bavaria  and  Hungary  took 
the  side  of  Bohemia.  In  the  end  Frederick  of  Austria  was  obliged 
to  give  up  to  Vacslav  some  of  his  lands  to  the  north  of  the  Danube, 
and  the  Austrian  Princess  Gertrude,  the  heiress  of  the  duke  of  Aus- 
tria, was  affianced  to  Vladislav,  the  heir-apparent  of  Bohemia. 
This  marriage  prepared  the  way  for  the  annexation  of  Austria  and 
Styria  to  the  crown  of  Bohemia. 

A  more  serious  event  was  the  invasion  of  Moravia  by  the 
Tatars,  or  Mongols.  We  have  already  seen  how  these  dreaded 
hordes  rushed  in  upon  Europe.  One  of  them  at  this  time  invaded 
Silesia,  and  the  whole  of  Christendom  took  fright.  Pope  Gregory 
IX.  caused  a  crusade  to  be  preached  against  them,  but  the  quarrels 
then  going  on  between  the  Holy  See  and  the  empire  made  any 
united  effort  impossible,  and  the  threatened  lands  were  obliged  to 
depend  upon  themselves  for  their  defense.  King  Vacslav  manfully 
withstood  the  storm,  and  assembled  under  his  banner  40,000  foot 
soldiers  and  6000  horsemen.  The  enemy  had  already  penetrated 
into  Moravia,  where  they  pillaged,  ravaged,  and  burned  towns, 
castles,  and  monasteries.  The  inhabitants  fled  to  the  woods.  The 
fortified  towns  of  Olmiitz  and  Briinn  alone  resisted  the  invaders, 
who  overthrew  everything  in  their  course.  The  Czechs  met  the 
Tatars  beneath  the  walls  of  Olmiitz,  where  they  were  victorious,  and 
the  Tatars,  either  in  consequence  of  the  terror  inspired  by  this  defeat, 
or  as  the  result  of  that  capricious  restlessness  which  has  always  dis- 
tinguished Asiatic  invaders,  suddenly  turned  aside  and  threw  them- 
selves upon  Hungary. 

With  the  removal  of  the  common  danger  the  alliance  with 
the  house  of  Austria  came  to  an  end.  Frederick  even  wished  to 
give  up  the  marriage  proposed  between  the  Princess  Gertrude  and 
Prince  Vladislav,  and  war  alone  induced  him  to  keep  his  word. 
The  young  prince  received  Moravia  as  a  marriage  gift  from  his 
father,  a  province  in  the  hands  of  the  king  since  the  year  1239; 
and  soon  afterward,  on  the  death  of  Frederick,  the  last  of  the 
Babenbergs,  he  obtained  possession  of  Austria  and  Styria.  But 
young  Vladislav  died  the  following  year,  and  the  emperor  has- 
tened to  place  a  lieutenant  of  his  own  over  these  two  provinces. 
Vacslav  dared  not  interfere  at  that  time,  as  his  own  throne  was 
menaced  by  dangerous  conspiracies.     The  greater  part   of   the 



nobles  had  been  irritated  by  his  amours,  his  excessive  prodigality, 
and  his  favorites.  The  malcontents  insisted  that  Premysl  Otokar, 
the  son  of  Vacslav,  should  share  the  government  with  his  father. 
War  broke  out  between  the  father  and  son,  and  Vacslav  put  down 
the  insurrection  only  with  assistance  from  the  German  princes. 
Premysl  Otokar,  however,  was  invited,  in  1251,  by  the  states  of 
Austria,  to  become  their  ruler,  and  in  spite  of  the  opposition  of 
Bela,  king  of  Hungary,  who  disputed  the  possession  of  Styria,  he 
was  able  to  retain  the  larger  part  of  his  new  territory.  Vacslav 
the  One-eyed,  who  had  rendered  his  son  no  assistance  whatever  in 
these  difficult  circumstances,  died  in  1253.  It  was  in  the  reign  of 
this  knightly  prince  that  Bohemia  adopted  the  arms  which  she 
bears  to  this  day,  a  crowned  lion  with  two  tails,  argent,  on  a  field 
of  gules. 

On  his  accession  to  the  throne  of  Bohemia,  Premysl  Otokar 
II.  was  one  of  the  most  powerful  monarchs  of  Europe,  Bohemia, 
Moravia,  Upper  Lusatia,  and  Upper  and  Lower  Austria  being  united 
under  his  rule.  The  character  of  the  new  king  was  equal  to  the 
character  of  his  high  position.  He  had  apparently  done  wrong  in 
taking  up  arms  against  his  father,  but  the  conduct  of  Vacslav  and 
the  interests  of  the  kingdom  had  justified  his  rebellion.  Just,  hard- 
working, and  valiant  in  war,  he  was  both  a  wise  ruler  and  an  able 
leader.  National  historians  accuse  him  of  having,  like  his  father 
and  his  uncle,  encouraged  foreign  manners  and  customs  too  much, 
and  consequently  of  having  helped  to  increase  the  influence  of  the 
Germans  in  Bohemia.  The  rhymed  chronicle  of  Dalemil  exclaims, 
"  How  sad  to  think  that  so  noble  a  king  should  not  have  remained 
true  to  his  native  tongue!  What  glory  he  would  have  acquired, 
and  what  riches!  He  could  have  destroyed  all  his  enemies." 
Premysl  Otokar's  first  care  was  the  royal  domain,  which  had  been 
impoverished  and  dismembered  by  the  carelessness  of  his  father 
and  by  civil  war.  He  obliged  all  estates  held  illegally  to  be  given 
up  to  him,  and  built  fortresses  on  his  lands,  which  he  placed  in  the 
hands  of  burgraves,  whose  business  it  was  to  maintain  order  and 
public  security  and  to  check  all  risings  of  the  nobles.  He  increased 
the  number  of  German  colonies  in  Bohemia  and  Moravia,  and 
created  a  certain  number  of  royal  towns,  which  paid  taxes  directly 
to  the  king  and  had  the  right  of  self-government,  subject  only  to 
the  royal  control. 

Owing  to  these  measures  the  riches  both  of  the  kingdom  and 



of  the  royal  domain  increased  considerably  during  the  reign  of 
Premysl  Otokar  II. ;  but  at  the  same  time  the  increasing  number 
of  foreigners  and  the  introduction  of  a  new  system  of  law  prepared 
the  way  for  numerous  disputes  in  the  future.  No  prince  had  ever 
ascended  the  throne  under  such  favorable  circumstances.  Frederick 
II.  had  just  died  in  Italy,  and  the  long  interregnum  in  the  empire, 
during  which  the  electors  offered  the  crown  to  the  highest  bidder, 
had  begun.  Otokar  was  either  the  relative  or  the  friend  of  almost 
all  his  more  powerful  neighbors.  In  Bavaria  alone  he  had  enemies, 
who  envied  him  the  possession  of  Upper  Austria,  while  the  king  of 
Hungary,  supported  by  the  princes  of  Cracow  and  Galicia,  was  the 
only  neighbor  he  needed  to  fear.  Pope  Innocent  IV.  was  favorable 
to  him,  and  in  the  beginning  of  his  reign  invited  him  to  undertake 
a  crusade  against  the  pagan  Prussians  on  the  shores  of  the  Baltic, 
whom  the  Teutonic  knights  had  not  yet  been  able  either  to  conquer 
or  convert.  Such  an  enterprise  had  almost  a  national  interest  for 
Bohemia,  for  it  was  in  these  distant  lands  that  the  great  apostle  of 
the  Czechs,  St.  Vojtech,  had  been  martyred.  Under  the  command 
of  Premysl  Otokar  and  the  margraves  of  Brandenburg  and  Meis- 
sen, 60,000  men  marched  northward  and  crossing  the  frozen  rivers 
made  their  way  into  the  country  of  the  pagans,  burned  the  sacred 
trees  and  the  images  of  their  gods,  and  defeated  the  Prussians,  of 
whom  a  large  number  were  baptized.  Otokar  founded  the  city  of 
Konigsberg  in  the  conquered  land.  Thus,  by  a  strange  freak  of 
fortune,  a  king  of  Bohemia  founded  in  a  pagan  land  the  town 
where  in  later  times  the  sovereigns  of  German  Prussia  were  to 
be  crowned. 

These  exploits  spread  the  fame  of  Premysl  Otokar  throughout 
Europe,  and  in  1256  the  archbishop  of  Cologne  came  to  Prague  to 
offer  him  the  imperial  crown.  He  refused  it,  and  the  electors  then 
bestowed  it  on  Richard  of  Cornwall,  brother  of  the  king  of  Eng- 
land, a  prince  who  possessed  but  little  power,  and  not  an  inch  of 
land  in  Germany.  Premysl  Otokar,  however,  was  far  from  taking 
no  interest  in  the  affairs  of  the  neighboring  lands.  Soon  after  this 
we  find  him  interfering  in  favor  of  the  archbishop  of  Salzburg,  his 
relative,  whom  the  princes  of  Bavaria  wished  to  deprive  of  his  see. 
This  act  of  interference  brought  him  into  conflict  with  Hungary, 
as  Styria  took  advantage  of  it  to  free  herself  from  the  suzerainty 
of  Hungary,  and  Otokar  settled  one  of  his  lieutenants  at  Gratz. 
The  struggle  between  Bohemia  and  Hungary  began  to  take  for- 



midable  proportions,  for  we  find  Bela  IV.  and  his  allies  set  on  foot 
an  army  of  140,000  men,  a  considerable  number  for  those  times, 
while  Otokar  marched  against  them,  aided  by  the  margraves  of 
Brandenburg  and  Meissen  and  the  princes  of  Silesia  and  Camiola. 

The  two  adversaries  met  in  the  plains  of  Austria,  on  the  two 
banks  of  the  Morava,  or  March,  near  its  juncture  with  the  Danube. 
Neither  army  dared  cross  the  stream  to  begin  the  attack.  According 
to  the  knightly  custom  of  the  time  Otokar  sent  a  messenger  to  the 
king  of  Hungary  to  demand  either  that  he  should  cross  the  river  or 
that  he  should  allow  the  army  of  the  Czechs  to  cross,  in  order  that 
the  battle  should  begin  in  proper  form.  Bela  chose  to  cross  himself, 
and  Otokar  withdrew  his  troops  in  order  to  leave  him  a  clear  field. 
The  battle  took  place  near  the  village  of  Cressennbriinn.  The  heavy 
Bohemian  cavalry,  clad  in  armor,  repulsed  the  impetuous  attack  of 
the  Hungarians,  the  Cumans  fled,  and  Prince  Stephen,  heir-pre- 
sumptive to  the  crown  of  Hungary,  was  seriously  wounded.  Soon 
the  rout  of  the  Hungarians  became  general;  18,000  men  were  slain, 
and  it  is  said  that  14,000  were  drowned  in  the  Morava.  The 
Czechs  pursued  the  enemy  as  far  as  Presburg.  Bela  sued  for  peace, 
abandoning  all  claims  on  Styria,  and  shortly  after  Richard  of  Corn- 
wall granted  the  investiture  of  this  Austrian  province  to  Premysl 

This  success  increased  the  fame  of  Otokar.  The  Tatars  named 
him  the  Iron  King,  because  of  the  heavily  armed  knights  whom  he 
led  to  war;  the  Christian  princes  called  him  the  Golden  King,  be- 
cause of  the  magnificence  of  his  court.  But  this  mighty  monarch 
had  no  heir.  He  therefore  obtained  permission  from  the  Pope  to 
divorce  his  wife,  Margaret  of  Austria,  widow  of  the  last  of  the 
Babenbergs,  whom  he  had  married  for  ambition,  and  sought  the 
hand  of  the  Princess  Cunegunda,  daughter  of  the  Russian  prince, 
Michael  Vsevolodovitch,  who  had  taken  refuge  in  Hungary  at  the 
time  of  the  Tatar  invasion.  She  was  the  granddaughter  of  Bela, 
and  this  marriage  strengthened  the  alliance  which  had  been  con- 
cluded between  the  two  kingdoms.  It  was  celebrated  with  great 
pomp  on  the  plain  of  Morava,  which  had  so  lately  been  the  scene 
of  the  struggle  between  their  armies. 

Soon  after  this  a  successful  expedition  against  Bavaria,  un- 
dertaken on  behalf  of  the  archbishop  of  Salzburg,  enabled  Bohemia 
to  acquire  some  new  territories,  among  others,  Eger,  where  Wal- 
lenstein  was  assassinated  in  later  times.     Otokar  was  now  more 



powerful  than  any  of  the  German  princes,  and,  finding  himself  in 
a  position  to  dictate  to  them,  he  resolved  to  free  his  country  from 
the  spiritual  suzerainty  of  the  archbishopric  of  Mainz  and  to  create 
an  archbishopric  at  Olmutz;  but  he  was  not  able  to  carry  out  his 
intention.  In  1269  Ulric,  duke  of  Carinthia  and  Carniola,  dying 
without  children,  left  his  lands  to  the  king  of  Bohemia,  who  took 
possession  of  them  in  1269  in  spite  of  the  resistance  offered  by 
the  patriarch  of  Aquileia,  Philip,  and  the  king  of  Hungary,  Stephen 
V.  The  kingdom  of  Bohemia  now  extended  from  the  Riesenge- 
birge  to  the  Adriatic,  War  broke  out  once  more  between  Bohemia 
and  Hungary,  during  which  the  Magyars  ravaged  Austria  and  car- 
ried off  16,000  persons  into  captivity.  Otokar,  in  return,  invaded 
Hungary,  captured  Presburg  and  Nitra,  crossed  the  Danube,  and 
defied  the  Hungarians  on  the  banks  of  the  Leitha.  Want  of  pro- 
visions and  an  unexpected  attack  by  Duke  Henry  of  Bavaria  obliged 
him,  however,  to  make  peace.  Again  in  1271  the  archbishop  of 
Cologne  came  in  the  name  of  several  of  the  German  princes  to  offer 
him  the  imperial  crown,  and  again  Otokar  deemed  it  prudent  to  re- 
fuse. No  doubt  the  crown  of  St.  Vacslav,  though  it  might  be  less 
brilliant,  appeared  to  him  far  more  secure  than  that  of  the  empire. 
This  was,  however,  a  fatal  mistake  for  Bohemia  and  her  king, 
as  Rudolf  of  Hapsburg  was  elected  in  his  stead,  and  Rudolf  soon 
found  it  impossible  to  maintain  his  position  with  dignity  while  so 
powerful  a  rival  as  the  king  of  Bohemia  remained.  The  election 
had  taken  place  without  Otokar's  consent,  and  in  defiance  of  his 
rights  as  an  elector,  and  no  sooner  did  he  hear  of  the  accession  of  the 
new  sovereign  than  he  hastily  concluded  a  peace  with  Hungary, 
against  which  country  he  had  again  taken  up  arms  in  consequence 
of  the  assassination  of  his  father-in-law,  Bela.  He  protested  against 
the  election  of  his  rival,  and  appealed  to  the  Pope,  Gregory  X.  But 
in  1274  the  Sovereign  Pontiff  recognized  the  new  emperor.  Rudolf 
prepared  for  the  struggle  with  his  formidable  adversary,  calling 
to  his  aid  both  the  power  of  the  law  and  of  arms.  He  persuaded 
the  assembly  of  princes,  in  a  meeting  held  at  Nuremberg,  to  decide 
that  all  fiefs  of  the  empire  which  had  become  vacant  since  the  ex- 
communication of  Frederick  H.  ought  to  belong  to  the  king  of  the 
Romans,  and  that  every  vassal  who  should  not  receive  investiture 
in  the  space  of  a  year  and  a  day  should  forfeit  his  fiefs.  This  was 
to  demand  from  Otokar  all  that  he  had  inherited  from  the  houses 
of  Carinthia  and  Austria.     The  Count   Palatine   Ludwig  cited 



Otokar  to  appear  before  the  tribunal  of  the  empire,  on  the  ground 
that  he  had  not  done  homage  for  his  dominions  in  the  appointed 
time.  Besides  this  Rudolf  excited  the  subjects  of  Otokar  in  Aus- 
tria, Carinthia,  and  Styria  to  revolt,  invited  the  archbishop  of  Salz- 
burg and  the  bishop  of  Passau  to  assist  the  rebels,  and  entered  into 
a  secret  understanding  with  some  of  those  nobles  in  Bohemia  who 
could  not  forgive  the  kiijg  for  having  deprived  them  of  the  crown- 
lands  which  they  had  unjustly  appropriated.  He  also  entered  into 
an  alliance  with  Frederick,  burgrave  of  Nuremberg,  Menhardt,  the 
count  of  Tyrol,  and  Ludwig  of  Bavaria.  All  the  enemies  of  Otokar 
rallied  round  the  emperor,  but  the  king  of  Bohemia  believed  him- 
self sufficiently  powerful  to  hold  his  own  against  them.  He  sub- 
dued the  revolts  in  Austria  and  Styria,  and  even  invaded  the  do- 
mains of  the  church  in  Salzburg. 

On  May  15,  1275,  Otokar  was  placed  under  the  ban  of  the 

[empire,  and  all  his  lands  and  offices  declared  forfeited  within  a 

^ear  if  he  did  not  submit.    At  the  expiration  of  that  time  a  German 

irmy  assembled  at  Nuremberg  for  the  invasion  of  Bohemia,  while 

le  count  of  Tyrol  prepared  to  attack  Carinthia  and  Styria.     The 

duke  of  Bavaria,  who  had  at  first  taken  the  side  of  Otokar,  also 

abandoned  him,  and  the  Hungarians,  gained  over  by  Rudolf,  un- 

lertook  to  march  against  Austria  and  Moravia.     Success  crowned 

[the  efforts  of  the  allies.    Carinthia  and  Styria  fell  into  the  hands  of 

[Meinhardt  of  Tyrol,  while  Rudolf,  throwing  himself  suddenly  upon 

Lustria,  captured  Vienna.    This  town  had  been  devoted  to  Otokar, 
)ut  yielded  before  the  threat  of  Rudolf  to  tear  up  all  the  vines 

^hich  had  been  planted  round  the  city. 

Otokar  had  concentrated  his  army  on  the  frontiers  of  Bavaria, 
[on  which  side  he  expected  the  enemy.     Surprised  by  these  unfore- 
rseen  attacks,  he  now  made  a  forced  march  on  Austria,  but  at  this 
[critical  moment  the  family  of  the  Vitkovici,  one  of  the  most  power- 
[ful  in  his  kingdom,  whose  chief  was  Zavisa  of  Falkenstein,  aban- 
doned the  cause  of  their  king,  and  set  to  work  to  ravage  the  royal 
domain.     It   seemed    impossible   to   withstand   so    many   enemies 
at  once ;  the  army  of  Otokar  was  reduced  to  20,000  men,  while  the 
forces  of  his  adversary  were  far  more  considerable.     The  king 
of  Bohemia  found  himself  forced  to  sue  for  peace,  and  to  gain  it  he 
was  obliged  to  sacrifice  to  Rudolf  those  countries  which,  together 
with  the  kingdoms  of  Hungary  and  Bohemia,  were  in  time  to  form 
the  larger  part  of  the  Austrian  empire,  namely,  Carinthia,  Carniola, 



Austria,  and  Styria,  together  with  the  territory  of  Eger.  His 
only  son,  Vacslav,  was  to  marry  the  daughter  of  Rudolf,  and  Hart- 
mann,  the  son  of  Rudolf,  the  daughter  of  Otokar.  The  first  of  the 
Hapsburgs  thus  entered  upon  that  policy  of  marriages  which  was 
one  day  to  establish  the  fortunes  of  his  house.  Not  content  with 
having  despoiled  and  humiliated  the  king  of  Bohemia,  he  se- 
cured for  his  heirs  the  inheritance  of  the  crown  of  St.  Vacslav,  in 
case  of  the  extinction  of  the  house  of  Premyslides.  Rudolf  gave 
his  daughter  Lower  Austria  and  forty  thousand  golden  ducats  as 
dowry,  and  a  like  sum  to  the  daughter  of  Otokar.  The  king  of 
Hungary  was  a  third  party  to  the  treaty,  and  Bohemia  was  forced 
to  restore  all  the  lands  she  had  taken  from  him  in  the  last  war. 

By  the  terms  of  this  treaty  Otokar  recognized  Rudolf  as  the 
emperor,  and  accepted  from  his  hands  investiture  for  the  kingdom 
of  Bohemia  and  the  landgraviate  of  Moravia.  As  it  was  understood 
by  the  king  of  Bohemia,  this  clause  neither  interfered  with  the  in- 
dependence of  the  realm  nor  with  its  internal  government.  Rudolf, 
however,  insisted  on  regarding  Bohemia  as  an  integral  part  of  the 
empire,  and  claimed  the  right  to  interfere  in  those  disputes  which 
arose  between  Otokar  and  the  Bohemian  nobles  who  had  deserted 
his  cause;  in  a  word,  he  meant  to  reduce  Bohemia  to  a  state  of 
complete  vassalage.  Otokar  resisted,  and  long  negotiations  were 
entered  into  by  the  two  kings,  but  they  came  to  nothing.  Two  such 
rivals  could  not  be  reconciled,  and  it  was  inevitable  that  one  of 
them  should  be  forced  to  submit  to  the  other.  Otokar  had  but  a 
small  army  of  30,000  men  with  which  to  fight  the  empire,  and  no 
other  allies  than  the  princes  of  Silesia.  Nevertheless,  he  began  a 
fresh  campaign,  and  during  the  summer  of  1278  he  made  his  way 
into  Lower  Austria  by  the  Morava  and  reached  Marchegg,  close 
to  the  glorious  battlefield  of  Cressennbriinn,  on  the  right  bank  of 
the  stream.  Rudolf,  who  had  established  his  seat  of  government 
at  Vienna,  marched  to  meet  him,  and  soon  forced  him  to  retreat. 
On  Augfust  26,  1278,  a  battle  took  place  which  was  one  of  the  most 
terrible  of  the  Middle  Ages,  and  one  of  the  most  important  in  its 

Rudolf  had  secured  the  alliance  of  the  king  of  Hungary,  and 
the  battle  beg^n  with  a  furious  attack  on  the  flanks  of  the  Bohemian 
army  by  the  Cuman  horsemen  on  their  swift  steeds.  The  two  kings 
themselves  more  than  once  took  part  in  the  fight,  and  the  fortunes 
of  the  day  remained  for  some  time  doubtful,  but  suddenly  the  rear 


THE    MARCHEfJO.    I278 

Painting   by   A.    Zick 



g-uard  of  the  Bohemian  army,  at  the  moment  of  their  advance,  took 
to  flight,  and  the  day  was  lost.  Otokar  rushed  into  the  midst  of 
his  enemies  and  gave  himself  up  as  prisoner,  but  he  was  slain  by 
two  Austrian  knights,  and  his  body,  stripped  of  its  armor,  was 
shamefully  outraged.  Rudolf,  who  arrived  too  late  to  save  his 
life,  caused  his  remains  to  be  gathered  together  and  carried  to 
Vienna,  where  they  were  clothed  in  the  royal  purple  and  exposed 
for  four  and  twenty  days.  The  court  of  Rome,  which  was  one  of 
the  many  allies  of  Rudolf,  had  placed  the  king  of  Bohemia  under 
an  interdict,  and  his  body  was,  in  consequence,  refused  Christian 
burial.  But  Bohemia  took  no  heed  of  the  interdict.  Both  the 
church  and  the  nation  mourned  for  the  sovereign  who,  notwith- 
standing his  faults,  had  gained  so  much  glory  for  his  kingdom. 
There  were  some  who  regretted  him  even  in  Germany.  "  Virtue 
and  honor,"  says  Henry  of  Heimburg,  "  weep  for  the  king  of  Bo- 
hemia; his  hand  was  liberal;  he  was  the  rampart  of  Christendom 
against  the  pagans ;  he  was  a  lion  of  courage,  an  eagle  of  goodness.'* 
Rudolf  did  not  lay  down  his  arms  on  the  death  of  the  king 
of  Bohemia,  but,  at  the  head  of  his  victorious  army,  he  made  his 
way  into  Moravia.  The  towns  here  were  mostly  inhabited  by  Ger- 
man colonists,  by  whom  he  was  gladly  welcomed,  but  he  allowed 
the  country  districts  to  be  horribly  ravaged,  and  treated  the  whole 
land  as  conquered  territory  and  a  fief  of  the  empire.  To  some  of 
the  towns  he  granted  important  privileges,  making  Briinn  one  of 
the  free  cities  of  the  empire.  The  nobles  submitted,  and  Cune- 
gunda,  the  widow  of  Otokar,  threw  herself  and  her  son  on  the 
mercy  of  the  conqueror.  In  Bohemia,  meanwhile,  the  greatest  con- 
fusion prevailed.  Those  nobles  who  had  been  faithless  to  Otokar, 
and  whom  he  had  banished  from  the  kingdom,  returned  and  pre- 
pared to  offer  the  crown  to  Rudolf,  while  the  patriots  who  wished 
to  maintain  the  independence  of  their  country  made  ready  to  de- 
fend it.  Young  Vacslav,  the  heir  of  Otokar,  was  only  seven  years 
of  age.  Two  princes  were  eager  to  become  his  guardians — Henry 
of  Breslau  and  Otto  of  Brandenburg;  the  latter  was  nephew  of  the 
late  king,  and  was  able  to  furnish  some  troops  for  the  defense  of 
Bohemia.  Meantime  Rudolf  had  invaded  Bohemia,  but  he  did  not 
feel  himself  sufficiently  strong  to  complete  its  conquest.  He  there- 
fore determined  to  conclude  a  treaty  that  would  leave  him  complete 
freedom  of  action  in  the  future.  Accordingly  an  agreement  was 
entered  into  by  which  he  was  allowed  to  keep  Moravia  in  his 



power  for  five  years,  during  which  time  the  government  of  Bo- 
hemia was  to  be  left  in  the  hands  of  Otto  of  Brandenburg.  The 
old  arrangements  regarding  marriages  between  the  Hapsburgs  and 
the  Premyslides  were  renewed,  and  it  was  decided  that  Vacslav 
should  marry  the  Princess  Guta,  who  was  the  daughter  of  Rudolf, 
and  the  emperor's  son,  Rudolf,  Aneska,  the  daughter  of  Otokar. 
The  oldest  of  these  children  who  were  thus  sacrificed  to  the  ambi- 
tion of  their  father  was  not  ten  years  of  age.  But  Rudolf  was  not 
satisfied  with  a  simple  promise ;  he  insisted  that  these  unions  should 
receive  the  sanction  of  the  church,  and  the  double  marriage  was 
celebrated  on  the  same  day  in  the  town  of  Iglau  in  Moravia. 
After  the  ceremony  the  children  returned  to  the  care  of  their  par- 
ents, that  their  education,  which  had  scarcely  been  begun,  might 
be  completed.  The  queen-mother  of  Bohemia  and  the  new  regent 
established  themselves  at  Prague,  and  Rudolf  returned  to  Austria, 
after  having  confided  the  temporary  government  of  Moravia  to  the 
bishop  of  Olmiitz,  who  had  formerly  been  one  of  the  devoted  ad- 
herents of  Otokar,  and  was  now  the  no  less  zealous  supporter  of 
his  successful  adversary. 

It  was  no  spirit  of  self-sacrifice  which  led  the  margrave  of 
Brandenburg  to  undertake  the  guardianship  of  his  young  cousin. 
No  sooner  was  he  settled  at  Prague  than  he  set  himself  indus- 
triously to  work  to  plunder  the  country  which  he  had  been  ap- 
pointed to  rule.  At  last  the  Czech  nobles  grew  tired  of  the  inso- 
lence of  Otto,  and  becoming  indignant  at  the  insults  inflicted  on  the 
heir  of  the  king,  obliged  Otto  to  quit  Bohemia  and  return  to  his 
own  country.  But  he  carried  off  the  young  prince  with  him  and 
left  the  government  in  the  hands  of  Eberhardt,  bishop  of  Bran- 
denburg. The  latter  suppressed  the  insurrection  with  the  help  not 
only  of  the  Germans  already  settled  in  Bohemia,  but  of  adventurers 
of  all  kinds  who  had  come  out  of  Saxony  prepared  to  take  posses- 
sion of  the  country  as  their  prey,  and  Bohemia  became  the  scene  of 
furious  struggles,  in  which  the  sentiment  of  nationality  so  long 
dead  among  the  nobles  was  again  thoroughly  aroused  by  the  new 
invasion  of  the  Germans.  At  last  Rudolf  interfered.  In  the 
month  of  September,  1280,  he  entered  Bohemia,  and  brought  about 
a  truce  by  which  the  nobles  and  the  representatives  of  the  towns 
agreed  to  maintain  the  regency  of  Otto  of  Brandenburg,  provided 
that  he  would  not  leave  the  government  in  the  hands  of  foreigners 
during  his  frequent  absences  from  the  country;  that  he  would  send 



all  the  foreign  troops  back  into  Brandenburg;  oblige  all  Germans 
who  were  not  settled  in  the  land  to  leave  it  within  three  days  on 
pain  of  death ;  and  that,  on  the  payment  of  fifteen  thousand  marks 
of  gold,  he  would  bring  back  the  young  Prince  Vacslav  to  his  capi- 
tal. But  notwithstanding  this  agreement  Otto  managed  to  keep 
Vacslav  in  his  power  for  three  years  longer,  and  finally  agreed  to 
give  him  up  to  his  people  only  on  condition  of  their  paying  an  addi- 
tional ransom  of  twenty  thousand  marks  of  gold,  or,  should  they 
fail  to  produce  the  sum  required,  the  surrender  of  a  certain  number 
of  the  most  important  strongholds  in  the  kingdom. 

At  last,  in  1283,  after  a  delay  of  five  years,  Vacslav  returned 
from  his  captivity  and  ascended  the  throne.  Rudolf,  true  to  his  en- 
gagements, gave  up  Moravia  to  him,  and  later  on  interfered  to  pre- 
vent the  payment  of  the  twenty  thousand  marks  which  the  margrave 
of  Brandenburg  tried  to  extort.  The  Bohemians  had  looked  for- 
ward with  impatience  to  the  accession  of  a  prince  who  symbolized  to 
them  the  reawakening  of  the  spirit  of  nationality  and  the  new  life 
which  animated  the  kingdom.  But  Vacslav  was  too  young  to  gov- 
ern alone,  and  his  mother,  Cunegunda,  came  with  him  to  Prague. 
During  her  exile  in  Moravia  she  had  married  Zavisa  of  Falkenstein, 
a  Czech  nobleman,  who  was  an  elegant  cavalier  and  a  poet  of  some 
talent.  He  had  won  the  love  of  the  royal  widow  by  his  brilliant 
qualities,  and  obtained  great  influence  over  Vacslav.  This  influ- 
ence continued  even  after  the  death  of  Cunegunda,  and  enabled  him 
to  enrich  himself  at  the  expense  of  the  state,  while  he  encouraged 
Vacslav  in  his  love  of  pleasure.  When  the  young  Queen  Guta  was 
sent  to  Prague,  Rudolf  insisted  on  the  removal  of  Zavisa  from  the 
court,  and  he  was  forced  to  retire  to  his  estates  on  the  confines  of 
Bohemia  and  Moravia.  Still  powerful  and  still  ambitious,  he  mar- 
ried the  sister  of  Ladislas,  king  of  Hungary,  and  was  accused  of 
endeavoring  to  make  his  lands  an  independent  principality.  Such  a 
subject  was  too  formidable  not  to  be  an  object  of  fear  to  the  king. 
Vacslav  invited  him  to  visit  Prague,  and  then  threw  him  into 
prison.  He  amused  himself  during  his  captivity  by  the  composition 
of  songs  in  the  Bohemian  tongue,  which  continued  popular  for  a 
long  time,  but  which  have  now  entirely  disappeared.  The  friends 
of  the  prisoner  rose  in  arms,  and  help  was  sent  to  them  by  the  king 
of  Hungary,  while  Rudolf  also  interfered  by  sending  troops  to 
his  son-in-law.  The  rebels  held  out  for  some  time,  and  it  was  neces- 
sary to  besiege  them  one  by  one  in  their  castles.    Rudolf  gave  Vac- 



slav  a  piece  of  advice  which  was  rather  politic  than  Christian, 
when  he  suggested  that  he  should  take  his  prisoner  Zavisa  on  all 
his  expeditions,  and  summon  each  burgrave  to  surrender,  telling 
him  that,  in  case  of  refusal,  the  head  of  Zavisa  would  be  cut  off. 
This  advice  was  followed,  and  several  of  the  rebels  submitted  in 
consequence.  At  last  the  king  arrived  before  the  castle  of  Hluboka, 
not  far  from  Budweiss,  which  was  commanded  by  Vitek,  the 
brother  of  Zavisa.  The  dreadful  summons  was  proclaimed,  but 
Vitek  did  not  believe  the  threat  and  would  not  yield,  whereupon  the 
head  of  his  brother  was  cut  off  before  his  eyes  in  front  of  the  castle 
ditch.  The  tragic  end  of  Zavisa,  his  brilliant  qualities  and  his  poetic 
talents  secured  for  his  name  great  popularity,  which  has  been  re- 
vived in  the  present  century  through  newly  awakened  interest  in 
the  national  literature. 

At  the  time  of  the  execution  of  Zavisa,  Vacslav  was  only  nine- 
teen, and  this  act  of  severity  so  frightened  the  rebels  that  the  royal 
authority  was  thenceforward  recognized  throughout  the  land.  The 
young  king  increased  the  revenues  of  the  crown,  and  worked  on  a 
large  scale  the  silver  mines  of  Bohemia,  which  were  then  extremely 
rich,  especially  that  of  Kutna  Hora,  "  the  mountain  of  mines."  He 
kept  up  a  luxurious  court,  which  enriched  the  town  of  Prague,  and 
made  it  a  favorite  abode  of  foreigners.  It  became  in  his  day  the 
seat  of  several  renowned  schools.  At  the  same  time  a  series  of  for- 
tunate events  placed  the  crown  of  Poland  on  the  head  of  Vac- 
slav, making  him  one  of  the  most  powerful  monarchs  of  Chris- 

For  some  time  past  the  custom  of  creating  appanages  had 
seriously  weakened  Poland.  It  was  now  more  or  less  equally  di- 
vided among  all  the  princes  who  were  descended  from  the  dynasty 
of  the  Piasts ;  the  one  who  ruled  Lesser  Poland,  and  whose  seat  of 
government  was  at  Cracow,  being  the  overlord.  His  power,  how- 
ever, had  become  almost  nominal,  for  the  right  of  primogeniture 
was  but  little  respected,  and  Mazovia,  Silesia,  and  Greater  Poland 
had  each  in  turn  endeavored  to  get  possession  of  his  territories. 
Even  the  lesser  principalities  themselves  began  to  split  up,  and  in 
Silesia  alone  we  hear  of  no  less  than  ten  princes.  A  party  in 
Cracow  was  formed,  which  offered  the  province  of  Lesser  Po- 
land to  the  king  of  Bohemia.  Vacslav  accepted  the  offer,  proceeded 
to  Cracow,  and  took  possession  of  that  town  and  of  the  duchy  of 



But  the  troubles  of  Poland  continued,  and  a  few  years  later 
the  nobles  of  Greater  Poland  also  offered  their  province  to  Vacslav. 
He  caused  himself  to  be  crowned  at  Gnesen,  obliged  the  princes 
of  Mazovia  to  recognize  his  suzerainty,  and  thus  united  the  king- 
dom of  the  Piasts  to  that  of  the  Premyslides.  This  union,  which 
might  have  proved  so  very  advantageous  for  the  two  countries, 
was  unfortunately  of  very  short  duration,  and  did  not  last  beyond 
the  life  of  Vacslav.  The  time  had  not  yet  come  for  the  Slav  peoples 
to  understand  the  duties  which  their  common  origin  imposed  upon 
them  and  the  need  there  was  for  common  action  against  the  Ger- 
mans. Only  a  short  time  before  Premysl  Otokar  had  invited  the 
Poles  to  help  him  in  his  struggles  against  the  insatiable  ambition  of 
|the  Germans,  and  had  received  but  little  assistance.  In  years  to 
Icome  the  two  crowns  of  Bohemia  and  Poland  were  once  more  to  be 
[united  on  the  same  head ;  but  the  two  countries  were  unable  to  form 
permanent  state. 

In  1 30 1,  the  house  of  Arpad  having  become  extinct,  the  crown 
)f  Hungary  was  also  offered  to  Vacslav,  but  fearing  to  accept  it  for 
limself  because  the  Pope  had  already  chosen  Robert  of  Anjou,  he 
^induced  the  Magyars  to  crown  his  young  son.     This  election  the 
[Pope  and  Emperor  Albert  refused  to  acknowledge.     The  latter 
lUed  upon  Vacslav  to  renounce  the  crown  and  demanded  the  ces- 
sion of  Meissen  and  Eger,  and  the  payment  of  the  arrears  of  the 
tenths  due  the  empire  from  the  mines  of  Kutna  Hora.    To  enforce 
his  claims  he  invaded  Bohemia,  but  was  unsuccessful.     Vacslav  in 
turn  prepared  to  invade  Austria,  but  died  before  he  could  carry  out 
his  project. 

His  successor,  Vacslav  V.,  concluded  an  unfavorable  peace, 
surrendering  Meissen  and  Eger,  the  emperor  agreeing  not  to  med- 
dle in  the  relations  between  Bohemia,  Hungary,  and  Poland.  The 
new  ruler  was,  moreover,  a  frivolous,  debauched  prince,  with  little 
care  for  his  prerogative.  He  gave  away  his  claim  to  Hungary  and 
Poland,  though  in  the  latter  case  he  relented  and  tried  to  reassert 
his  rights.  But  on  his  march  to  Poland  he  was  treacherously  as- 
sassinated at  Olmiitz.  Vacslav  left  no  son,  and  with  him  the 
dynasty  of  the  Premyslides,  who  had  reigned  over  Bohemia  since 
mythical  times,  became  extinct  in  1306.  The  race  of  Arpad  in 
Hungaria,  as  we  have  seen,  died  out  in  1301.  There  is  something 
curious  in  this  coincidence. 

The  death  of  the  last  of  the  Premyslides  marks  an  important 




date  in  the  history  of  Bohemia.  Up  to  this  time,  notwithstanding 
frequent  periods  of  anarchy,  the  country  had  recognized  the  hered- 
itary authority  of  a  national  dynasty.  But  after  the  death  of  Vac- 
slav  without  heirs,  we  rarely  find  it  governed  by  a  national  king. 
The  foreign  elements  which  had  settled  within  it  continued  to  in- 
crease in  numbers  and  power.  Before  turning  to  this  new  period 
it  will  be  worth  while  to  look  back  for  a  brief  survey  of  Bohemia's 
relations  with  the  empire,  and  of  her  internal  condition  and  the 
development  of  her  civilization. 

The  neighborhood  of  Germany  has  always  been  dangerous  for 
non-German  nations,  and  Bohemia  has  felt  this  more  than  most 
countries.  Since  the  time  when  Charles  the  Great,  with  the  help  of 
the  Pope,  restored  the  empire  of  the  West,  the  emperor  had  looked 
upon  himself  as  the  temporal  head  of  Christendom.  Those  lands 
which  the  emperor  did  not  attempt  to  conquer  were  regarded  as 
owing  that  privilege  directly  to  the  imperial  generosity.  At  times 
it  was  necessary  to  purchase  the  privilege  by  payment  of  tribute, 
and  thus,  according  to  the  somewhat  doubtful  testimony  of  Ein- 
hard,  Bohemia  paid  tribute  to  Charles  the  Great.  In  a  document 
of  the  year  817  Louis  the  Pious  represents  Bohemia,  and  also  the 
country  of  the  Avars,  and  of  the  Slavs  to  the  west  of  Bavaria, 
as  all  forming  part  of  the  empire.  At  the  end  of  the  ninth  century, 
as  we  have  already  seen,  Bohemia  was  paying  to  the  emperor  a 
tribute  of  120  oxen  and  500  marks  of  silver.  In  895  the  two 
princes,  Spytihnev  and  Vratislav,  tired  of  the  authority  of  Svato- 
pluk,  did  homage  for  their  states  to  the  emperor.  In  928  Prince 
Vacslav  I.  renewed  the  engagement  to  pay  the  tribute  of  oxen  and 

In  108 1  this  was  changed  into  an  agreement  which  bound 
Bohemia  to  furnish  300  knights  to  accompany  the  emperor  to  Rome 
for  his  coronation.  On  the  other  hand,  we  do  not  hear  of  the 
princes  of  Bohemia  doing  homage  or  claiming  investiture  at  the 
accession  of  each  German  sovereign,  and  the  payment  of  tribute 
proves  nothing  more  than  that  there  was  an  international  treaty  be- 
tween them.  Vassals  did  not  pay  tribute.  Louis  the  Child  and 
Henry  the  Fowler  paid  tribute  to  Hungary,  but  they  were  not  the 
vassals  of  Hungary;  Poland  at  one  time  paid  tribute  to  Bohemia  in 
the  same  way,  but  she  was  not  her  vassal.  The  emperor  never  ex- 
ercised any  right  of  sovereignty  over  Bohemia;  he  never  levied 
troops,  he  exercised  no  judicial  authority,  nor  could  he  bind  Bo- 

THE     PRE  MY  SLIDES  88 


hernia  by  the  treaties  which  he  entered  into  with  the  court  of  Rome. 
The  interference  of  the  empire  in  the  disputes  of  the  princes  of 
Bohemia  was  exactly  the  same  in  character  as  the  interference  of 
the  Czechs  themselves  in  the  affairs  of  Poland  and  Hungary.  The 
Emperor  Lothar  failed  in  his  attempts  to  impose  a  prince  on  Bo- 
hemia in  1 1 26.  At  the  beginning  of  the  twelfth  century  a  Bohemian 
prince  received  the  honorary  title  of  cupbearer  as  a  reward  for 
services  rendered  to  the  empire.  Later  on  Otokar  L  and  Vacslav 
L  took  part  in  the  election  of  the  emperor,  but  this  title  of  elector 
was  a  purely  personal  one,  and  involved  no  sort  of  obligation  on 
the  part  of  Bohemia  itself.  As  time  went  on  the  German  emperors 
took  advantage  of  the  rivalries  and  quarrels  of  the  Bohemian 
princes,  and  tried  more  than  once  to  get  possession  of  certain  por- 
tions of  Bohemia,  such  as  the  bishopric  of  Prague  and  the  mar- 
gravate  of  Moravia,  but  after  each  attempt  the  unity  of  the  king- 
dom was  quickly  restored.  When  once  the  Pope  had  given  his 
sanction  to  the  adoption  of  the  royal  title,  any  special  connection 
between  the  prince  of  Bohemia  and  the  emperor  resting  on  the 
imperial  grant  must  have  disappeared.  After  the  election  of  Ru- 
dolf, Premysl  Otokar  H.  was  called  upon  to  do  homage  for 
Bohemia  and  Moravia,  and  we  have  seen  to  what  a  struggle  this 
claim  gave  rise.  Albert  L,  in  his  treaty  with  Vacslav,  renounced 
this  claim,  but  we  shall  soon  see  how  it  was  revived  during  the  time 
of  anarchy  which  followed  the  tragic  death  of  the  last  of  the 
Premyslides.  Thus  the  claim  of  the  empire  was  never  clearly  de- 
fined. The  power  and  individual  pretensions  of  each  sovereign 
differed,  and  history  can  only  state  the  facts  without  being  able  to 
lay  down  any  definite  rule. 

The  crown  of  Bohemia  was  elective  before  it  became  heredi- 
tary, and  the  prince  was  assisted  by  a  diet  which  was  at  first  com- 
posed of  the  chiefs  of  tribes,  heads  of  families,  and  the  representa- 
tives of  the  free  cities.  Later  on  the  earlier  Premyslides  convoked 
diets,  in  which  we  find  the  princes  of  the  royal  family,  the  higher 
clergy,  twelve  judges  chosen  by  the  sovereign,  and  the  representa- 
tives of  the  nobles.  The  powers  of  this  diet  were  mainly  judicial 
and  deliberative ;  but  it  elected  the  prince,  who  could  only  be  chosen 
from  the  ruling  family;  called  out  the  national  militia,  and  in  ex- 
ceptional cases  levied  taxes.  It  also  elected  the  bishop  of  Prague. 
But  its  powers  were  never  very  clearly  defined,  and  the  prince  often 
governed  without  its  aid.    From  the  end  of  the  twelfth  century  the 




power  of  the  diets  increased,  and  we  often  find  them  refusing  their 
permission  to  the  sovereign  to  levy  troops  and  extraordinary  taxes. 
The  diet  was  also  the  highest  court  of  justice.  The  earliest  au- 
thentic documents  dealing  with  the  relations  between  the  prince 
and  the  diet  bear  the  date  1310.  The  nobility  was  at  first  formed 
of  the  chiefs  of  the  tribes,  and  later  on  of  officials  chosen  by  the 
prince,  but  the  whole  order  of  nobility  was  gradually  modified  by 
the  feudal  ideas  which  prevailed  in  Germany. 

The  territory  of  the  kingdom  of  Bohemia  during  this  period 
repeatedly  extended  beyond  the  present  limits  of  Bohemia  and 
Moravia,  but  the  outlying  districts,  most  of  which  were  occupied 
by  inhabitants  not  belonging  to  the  Czech  race,  were  soon  lost. 
Their  loss  would  have  been  of  but  slight  importance  if  the  Czechs 
had  been  a  strong  and  united  nation  within  the  quadrilateral 
formed  by  the  mountains  of  Bohemia  and  Moravia.  Unfortu- 
nately this  was  not  the  case.  They  allowed  themselves  to  be  not  only 
weakened  externally,  but  also  internally,  by  the  constant  infiltration 
of  a  German  element,  which,  from  many  points  of  view,  was  far 
more  dangerous  than  serious  defeats  in  the  field.  The  time  came 
when  Bohemia  had  to  struggle  not  only  against  enemies  from  with- 
out, but  also  with  enemies  from  within.  The  Czechs  had  found  Bo- 
hemia deserted  and  they  had  occupied  only  the  center  of  the  coun- 
try; the  Germans  had  gradually  taken  possession  of  the  moun- 
tainous districts  and  the  frontiers,  which  had  at  first  remained 
uncultivated  and  uninhabited.  The  Christian  princes  of  Bohemia, 
unhappily,  sought  their  wives  among  the  Germans,  and  these  for- 
eign princesses  brought  to  the  court  a  large  number  of  their  coun- 
trymen, while  a  great  many  German  priests  and  monks  found  their 
way  into  the  churches  and  monasteries.  German  merchants,  who 
settled  in  the  vicus  Teutonicorum  in  Prague,  ended  by  getting  pos- 
session of  an  entire  district  of  the  town.  From  the  twelfth  century 
onward  whole  towns  and  villages  of  Germans  were  to  be  found 
along  the  frontiers,  where  the  soil  had  been  lately  reclaimed,  and 
many  royal  and  baronial  towns  which  were  built  by  the  king,  nobles, 
and  abbots  were  occupied  by  German  settlers.  The  celebrated 
poets  of  Germany,  Ulric  of  Turlin,  Wolfram  of  Eschenbach, 
and  Henry  of  Freiburg,  now  appeared  at  the  Bohemian  court, 
and  renowned  soldiers  peopled  their  estates  with  Germans.  The 
mines  of  Kutna  Hora  and  of  the  German  Ford  also  attracted  many 



The  Slav  agriculturists  gladly  left  all  trade  and  industry  in 
the  hands  of  foreigners:  in  Poland  the  Jews,  and  in  Bohemia  the 
Germans,  acquired  their  monopoly.  Some  far-seeing  patriots  be- 
came alarmed  at  the  growth  of  German  influence.  The  Czech 
chronicle  of  Dalemil,  compiled  probably  in  the  fourteenth  century, 
expresses,  sometimes  in  very  outspoken  fashion,  the  grief  and  anger 
Wtoi  a  Slav  who  sees  his  native  tongue  and  his  fatherland  threatened. 
The  following  words  are  put  into  the  mouth  of  the  Princess  Libusa: 
"  If  a  foreigner  comes  to  rule  you,  your  nation  will  not  last.  A  wise 
man  does  not  consult  foreigners.  A  foreigner  will  employ  the  peo- 
ple of  his  own  tongue  and  will  seek  to  do  you  evil.  He  will  divide 
your  inheritance  among  his  own  people.  Look  well  that  you  trust 
not  your  fortune  to  the  stranger,  O  Bohemian  chief !  There,  where 
but  one  language  is  spoken,  there  glory  is  to  be  found."  But  these 
warnings  of  the  unknown  patriot  were  to  remain  without  any  echo 
till  the  days  when  the  Hussites  unfurled  the  standard  alike  of  re- 
ligious reform  and  of  national  unity. 

Bohemia  had  been  Christianized  by  Moravia  and  Germany, 
but  in  consequence  of  the  destruction  of  the  archbishopric  of  the 
Moravians  she  had  been  placed  under  the  jurisdiction  of  Ratisbon, 
and  remained  so  until  the  creation  of  the  episcopal  see  of  Prague, 
which  was  attached  to  the  archbishopric  of  Mainz.  The  Pope, 
when  he  made  Bohemia  into  a  bishopric,  insisted  that  the  Roman 
liturgy  alone  should  be  employed.  At  first  the  bishop  was  usually 
elected  by  the  diet  and  the  prince  together;  after  the  middle  of  the 
twelfth  century,  however,  he  was  chosen  by  the  chapter,  whose 
choice  was  ratified  by  the  prince. 

Notwithstanding  the  Papal  decrees,  the  Slav  liturgy  con- 
tinued to  find  some  adherents.  Nevertheless  the  Latin  soon  sup- 
planted the  native  tongue  as  the  language  of  the  church,  and  in 
this  way  helped  not  a  little  to  clear  the  way  for  the  progress  of 
German  influence.  Most  of  the  foreign  orders  flourished  in  Bo- 
hemia, and  the  only  schools  in  the  country  belonged  to  them.  In 
the  thirteenth  century  the  most  celebrated  school  was  the  Studium 
Generale  established  in  the  castle  at  Prague,  where  grammar  and 
logic  were  taught  by  eminent  masters.  The  clergy  possessed  con- 
siderable influence,  and  Bohemia  remained  faithful  to  Catholic 
unity  down  to  the  fourteenth  century,  the  first  heresies  making  their 
appearance  in  the  beginning  of  that  century. 

Though  the  literature  of  that  time  was  but  little  developed,  it 




had  produced  some  works  of  interest.  The  Latin  tongue,  so  dear  to 
the  priests,  had  not  entirely  put  an  end  to  national  culture.  Cosmos, 
dean  of  the  chapter  of  Prague,  wrote  a  chronicle  of  Bohemia  at  the 
beginning  of  the  eleventh  century,  which  now,  in  spite  of  the 
pseudo-classical  style  of  the  author,  is  extremely  valuable.  We  find 
religious  hymns,  sacred  texts,  and  lyric  and  heroic  poems  in  the  lan- 
guage of  the  Czechs — some  describing  the  life  of  the  nation  and 
of  great  poetic  value — others,  imitations  of  Christian  or  romantic 
legends  of  the  Middle  Ages,  such  as  the  legends  of  St.  Catherine. 
St  Dorothy,  and  Alexander  the  Great. 

Neither  were  the  fine  arts  neglected.  The  church  interested 
itself  in  their  development  and  employed  them  for  religious  pur- 
poses. At  the  end  of  the  eleventh  century  Bozetech,  abbot  of  the 
Slav  monastery  of  Sazava,  is  spoken  of  as  a  clever  painter  and  a 
skillful  carver  in  wood  and  stone.  The  chronicle  relates  how  the 
bishop  of  Prague,  jealous  of  his  powers,  imposed  upon  him  a  sin- 
gular penance ;  he  ordered  him  to  carve  a  Christ  in  wood  of  the  size 
of  life,  and  to  bear  it  to  Rome  on  his  shoulders.  The  two  styles 
of  art,  the  Byzantine  and  the  Italian,  may  be  said  to  have  met  in 
Bohemia,  but  the  triumph  of  the  Roman  church  carried  with  it 
that  of  Italian  art.  A  large  number  of  churches  were  built  in  the 
twelfth  and  thirteenth  centuries,  among  them  the  Roman  basilica 
of  St.  Vit  at  Prague.  Altogether  about  150  churches  in  the 
Roman  style  are  known  to  exist  in  Bohemia.  Gothic  art  made  its 
appearance  there  in  the  thirteenth  century,  and  reached  its  highest 
point  of  delicacy  in  the  fourteenth. 

We  have  already  seen  how  Prague  became  the  seat  of  a  bril- 
liant and  knightly  court  under  the  last  Premyslides.  The  corona- 
tion of  Vacslav  II.,  in  1297,  was  one  of  the  most  brilliant  cere- 
monies of  the  Middle  Ages.  "  It  was,"  says  a  German  chronicle, 
"  such  a  festival  as  had  never  been  celebrated,  either  by  a  king  of 
Assyria,  or  by  Solomon  himself."  The  numbers  of  strangers  who 
flocked  to  it  was  so  vast,  that,  according  to  contemporary  accounts, 
food  had  to  be  found  for  nineteen  thousand  horses.  There  came  to 
it  not  less  than  twenty-eight  princes,  lay  and  ecclesiastic;  the  arch- 
bishops of  Mainz  and  Magdeburg,  the  bishops  of  Prague,  Olmiitz, 
Cracow,  Basel,  and  Constance;  the  Archduke  Albert  of  Austria, 
with  a  suite  of  seven  thousand  knights;  the  princes  of  Saxony, 
Brandenburg,  and  Meissen.  The  town  of  Prague  was  not  large 
enough  to  hold  the  crowd  of  visitors,  and  a  vast  palace  of  wood, 



decorated  with  valuable  tapestry,  was  built  on  the  neighboring 
plain,  and  there  the  guests  of  high  rank  were  entertained  magnifi- 
cently. In  the  public  squares  the  fountains  flowed  with  wine.  The 
coronation  took  place  in  the  cathedral  of  St.  Vit.  The  royal  crown 
was  worth  two  thousand  marks  of  silver;  the  sword  and  buckler, 
three  thousand ;  the  mantle,  four  thousand ;  and  no  one  dared  to  say 
what  was  the  worth  of  the  girdle,  the  rings,  and  the  royal  cap. 

Chapter    VIII 

—THE   HOUSE   OF  BABENBERG.    973-1246 

A  USTRIA,  as  is  well  known,  is  but  another  form  of  the 
/\  German  Oesterreich,  the  kingdom  of  the  East.  This  cele- 
X  ^  brated  historical  name  appears  for  the  first  time  in  996,  in 
a  document  signed  by  the  Emperor  Otto  III.,  in  regione  vulgari 
nomine  Osterrichi.  The  land  to  which  it  is  there  applied  was 
created  a  inarch,  or  border  province,  after  the  destruction  of  the 
Avar  empire,  and  was  governed  by  two  margraves  or  counts  of  the 
frontier.  The  two  margravates  included  Friuli,  properly  so  called, 
lower  Pannonia  to  the  south  of  the  Drave,  Carinthia,  Istria,  and 
the  interior  of  Dalmatia,  the  seacoast  having  been  ceded  to  the 
Eastern  emperor,  and  lower  Pannonia  to  the  north  of  the  Drave, 
upper  Pannonia,  and  the  Ostmark,  properly  so  called,  respectively. 
The  Ostmark  included  the  Traungau  to  the  east  of  the  Enns,  which 
was  completely  German,  and  the  Grunzvittigau.  The  ecclesiastical 
government  of  these  lands  was  divided  between  the  bishops  of 
Salzburg  and  Aquileia.  The  bishopric  of  Salzburg  had  been 
founded  in  710  by  St.  Emeran  of  Poitiers;  that  of  Aquileia  pre- 
sumed to  date  its  foundation  from  the  time  of  the  apostle  St.  Mark. 
The  population  was  principally  composed  of  Germans  and  Slavs, 
but  except  in  Dalmatia  these  Slavs  gradually  lost  their  individuality 
and  could  not  be  distinguished  from  the  rest  of  the  inhabitants. 
The  early  history  of  these  countries  lacks  that  unity  which  dynastic 
and  national  interest  gives  to  Hungary  and  Bohemia.  They  form 
but  a  portion  of  the  German  empire,  and  have  no  strongly  marked 
life  of  their  own. 

The  march,  with  its  varying  frontier,  had  not  even  geographical 
unity.  In  876  it  was  enlarged  by  the  addition  of  Bavaria;  in  890 
it  lost  Pannonia,  which  was  given  to  Bracislav,  the  Croat  prince,  in 
return  for  his  help  against  the  Magyars;  and  in  937  it  was  de- 
stroyed and  absorbed  by  the  Magyars,  who  extended  their  frontier 
to  the  River  Ems.     After  the  battle  of  Lechfeld,  or  Augsburg, 



in  955,  Germany  and  Italy  being  exposed  to  Hungarian  invasions, 
the  march  was  reconstituted  and  granted  to  the  Margrave  Burk- 
hard,  the  brother-in-law  of  Henry  of  Bavaria.  Leopold  of  Baben- 
berg  succeeded  him  in  973,  and  with  him  begins  the  dynasty  of 
Babenberg,  which  ruled  the  country  during  the  time  of  the  Premysl- 
ides  and  the  house  of  Arpad. 

The  Babenbergs  derived  their  name  from  the  castle  of  Baben- 
berg, built  by  Henry,  margrave  of  Nordgau,  in  honor  of  his  wife, 
Baba,  sister  of  Henry  the  Fowler.  It  reappears  in  the  name  of  the 
town  of  Bamberg,  which  now  forms  part  of  the  kingdom  of  Ba- 
varia. Leopold,  on  whom  the  chroniclers  bestow  the  title  of  the 
Illustrious,  was  already  count  of  the  Donaugau,  the  district  in  which 
lies  the  town  of  Ratisbon,  and  of  the  Traungau,  while  his  father, 
Berthold,  was  count  of  the  Nordgau,  the  land  lying  north  of  Ratis- 
bon. In  his  time  the  town  of  Molk,  on  the  Danube  above  Vienna, 
was  captured  from  the  Magyars,  and  it  is  said  Leopold  there 
founded  a  monastery  for  twelve  secular  priests.  He  perished  at 
Wiirzburg,  struck  by  an  arrow  aimed  at  his  nephew,  Henry  of 
Schweinfurt,  to  avenge  the  blinding  of  one  of  the  knights  of  that 
town.  His  eldest  son,  Henry  I.  (994-1018),  received  investiture 
for  the  margravate  from  Otto  III.  Though  not  of  right  an  heredi- 
tary office,  the  margravate  soon  became  so,  and  remained  in  the 
family  of  the  Babenbergs;  the  march  was  so  important  a  part  of 
the  empire  that  no  doubt  the  emperor  was  glad  to  make  the  defense 
of  this  exposed  district  the  especial  interest  of  one  family.  The 
other  sons  of  Leopold  were  equally  well  provided  for.  Ernest  ob- 
tained the  duchy  of  Suabia,  and  Poppo  the  bishopric  which  had  been 
recently  founded  at  Bamberg,  and  afterward  that  of  Triest.  The 
emperor  also  granted  a  large  number  of  hereditary  domains  along 
the  shores  of  the  Danube  to  the  Margrave  Henry.  The  conversion 
of  the  Magyars  to  Christianity  had  softened  the  manners  of  this 
conquering  race,  and  made  Henry's  task  of  protecting  Germany 
comparatively  easy,  but  Adalbert  (1018-1056)  had  a  hard  struggle 
against  them,  and  owes  his  name  of  the  Victorious  to  the  successes 
he  gained.  He  extended  the  march  of  Austria  as  far  as  the  banks 
of  the  Leitha.  He  also  helped  the  emperor  considerably  against 
Hungary,  and  received  in  return  fresh  grants  of  estates  within  the 
march  for  himself  and  his  heirs. 

The  Ostmark  was  almost  doubled  in  size  under  the  rule  of 
Adalbert,  who  chose  the  town  of  Tulln,  on  the  Danube,  between 



Vienna  and  Molk,  as  his  place  of  residence.  His  son,  Ernest  the 
Valiant  (1056-1075),  gave  a  fresh  proof  of  the  loyalty  of  the 
Babenbergs  to  the  emperor  and  empire  by  his  death  in  battle  against 
the  Saxons  at  Unstrut.  But  Leopold  the  Handsome  (1075-1096) 
proved  faithless  to  the  traditions  of  the  family,  and  took  the  side  of 
Gregory  VH.  against  the  Emperor  Henry  IV.  in  the  quarrel  about 
investitures.  He  was  defeated  by  the  imperial  forces  and  reduced 
to  submission,  but  soon  after  took  up  the  cause  of  the  anti-king, 
Hermann  of  Luxemburg.  Henry  IV.  thereupon  granted  investi- 
ture for  the  march  of  Austria  to  Vratislav,  duke  of  Bohemia,  but 
Vratislav  was  never  able  to  gain  possession  of  the  land,  and  in 
spite  of  the  disloyalty  of  Leopold  the  Handsome,  his  son,  Leopold 
III.,  succeeded  him  in  the  government  of  the  march.  This  prince, 
who  proudly  styled  himself  margrave  of  Austria  by  the  grace  of 
God,  entered  into  an  alliance  with  the  king  of  the  Romans,  Henry 
v.,  who  had  revolted  against  his  father.  Henry  V.  rewarded  him 
for  his  valuable  assistance  by  giving  him  his  sister  Agnes  in  mar- 
riage. She  was  the  widow  of  Frederick  of  Suabia,  so  that  the 
marriage  allied  the  house  of  Austria  with  the  future  dynasty  of  the 
Hohenstaufen.  Agnes  had  eighteen  children,  of  whom  two,  Leo- 
pold and  Henry,  succeeded  their  father.  One  of  these  eighteen 
children  was  the  celebrated  annalist,  Otto  of  Freisingen,  bishop  of 
the  town  of  that  name.  By  their  marriage  the  daughters  of  Leopold 
allied  the  house  of  Babenberg  with  the  ruling  families  of  Thuringia 
and  Montferrat,  with  the  Piasts  of  Poland  and  the  Premyslides  of 
Bohemia.  When  the  Salic  dynasty  became  extinct  in  the  person  of 
Henry  V.,  Leopold  III.  was  proposed  as  emperor,  together  with 
Frederick  of  Suabia  and  Lothar  of  Saxony:  a  strong  proof  of  the 
importance  which  had  been  acquired  by  the  march  of  Austria  and 
the  family  which  governed  it.  Leopold  retired  in  favor  of  Freder- 
ick, but  the  princes  chose  Lothar  of  Saxony. 

Leopold  was  very  generous  toward  the  church.  He  founded 
new  monasteries  and  enriched  those  which  already  existed.  He 
gave  Klosterneuburg  to  the  Benedictines,  and  Heiligenkreuz  to  the 
Cistercians ;  he  also  richly  endowed  Kremmunster  and  St.  Florian. 
On  his  death,  the  Emperor  Lothar  granted  investiture  to  one  of 
his  younger  sons,  Leopold  IV.,  1136-1141.  In  1138  the  brother- 
in-law  of  Leopold,  Conrad  of  Hohenstaufen,  duke  of  Franconia, 
was  made  emperor.  It  was  now  that  the  struggle  began  between 
the  house  of  Hohenstaufen  and  the  great  house  of  Welf,  whose 




representative  was  Henry  the  Proud,  duke  of  Saxony  and  Bavaria. 
Henry  was  defeated  in  the  unequal  strife,  and  was  placed  under  the 
ban  of  the  empire,  while  the  duchy  of  Saxony  was  awarded  to  Albert 
the  Bear,  count  of  Brandenburg,  and  the  duchy  of  Bavaria  fell  to 
the  share  of  Leopold  IV.,  in  1138.  Henry  the  Proud  died  in  the 
following  year,  leaving  behind  him  a  son  under  age,  who  was 
known  later  on  as  Henry  the  Lion.  His  uncle,  Welf,  would  not 
submit  to  the  forfeiture  by  his  house  of  their  old  dominions,  and 
marched  against  Leopold  to  reconquer  Bavaria,  but  he  was  defeated 
by  Conrad  at  the  battle  of  Weinsberg  in  1140.  Leopold  died 
shortly  after  this  victory,  and  was  succeeded  both  in  the  duchy  of 
Bavaria  and  in  the  margravate  of  Austria  by  his  brother,  Henry  IL 
This  prince  was  surnamed  lasomirgott,  from  his  favorite  motto, 
lach  sam  mir  Gott  helfe — so  God  be  my  aid.  He  was  the  first 
ereditary  duke  of  Austria. 

Henry  H.,  lasomirgott  (1141-1177),  endeavored  to  strengthen 
himself  in  Bavaria  by  marrying  Gertrude,  widow  of  Henry  the 
Proud,  and  forcing  her  to  obtain  from  her  son,  Henry  the  Lion,  a 
renunciation  of  all  his  rights  in  favor  of  her  new  husband.  But 
after  the  death  of  his  mother  Henry  declared  his  renunciation  null 
and  void,  and  in  11 56  the  diet  of  the  empire  declared  that  Bavaria 
should  be  restored  to  Henry  the  Lion.  It  was  owing  to  the  wise 
council  of  his  relation,  Otto  of  Freisingen,  that  Henry  lasomirgott 
finally  gave  up  Bavaria,  which  now  became  a  separate  duchy,  an 
imperial  edict,  dated  September  21,  11 56,  declaring  the  new  duchy 
hereditary  even  in  the  female  line.  Henry  II.  was  one  of  the 
founders  of  medieval  Vienna.  In  Rome's  imperial  days  Vindobona 
had  been  an  important  and  a  favorite  municipium,  but  it  had  declined 
since  then.  Henry  II.  now  constructed  a  fortress  there,  and,  in 
order  to  civilize  the  surrounding  country,  sent  for  Scotch  monks,  of 
whom  there  were  many  at  this  time  in  Germany. 

In  1 1 77  Leopold  V.,  called  the  Virtuous,  succeeded  Henry 
lasomirgott.  In  his  reign  the  duchy  of  Austria  gained  Styria,  an 
important  addition  to  its  territory.  Its  duke,  Otokar,  dying  with- 
out heirs,  willed  it  to  Leopold,  and  in  1192  Styria,  which  was  in- 
habited by  Germans  and  Slovenes,  became  a  permanent  part  of 

Leopold  V.  was  the  first  of  the  Austrian  princes  whose  name 
was  known  in  Western  Europe.  He  joined  the  third  Crusade,  and 
thus  came  in  contact  with  most  of  the  Catholic  kings  of  the  time.  He 




first  visited  the  Holy  Land  in  1 182 ;  on  his  return  thither  in  1 191  he 
met  PhiHp  Augustus  and  Richard  CcEur  de  Lion,  and  at  the  siege 
of  Acre  quarreled  with  the  turbulent  king  of  England.  In  1192 
he  returned  to  his  own  land.  Shortly  after,  Richard  Coeur  de  Lion 
was  over  taken  by  a  storm  between  Venice  and  Aquileia,  and  de- 
termined to  cross  Europe  incognito  in  order  to  regain  England. 
Leopold  heard  of  his  presence  in  his  territories,  and  was  not  slow 


to  revenge  himself  on  his  detested  rival.  He  had  him  made  a  pris- 
oner and  confined  in  the  castle  of  Diirrenstein,  near  Krems  on  the 
Danube,  and  before  selling  his  prisoner  to  the  emperor  for  twenty 
thousand  marks,  extracted  from  him  a  promise  of  a  marriage  be- 
tween the  houses  of  Babenberg  and  Plantagenet. 

The  successor  of  Leopold  V.  was  Frederick  I.  Like  his  father 
he  was  an  ardent  Crusader,  and  only  returned  from  Palestine  to 
die.    During  his  absence  his  brother  Leopold,  sumamed  the  Proud, 



who  had  been  made  duke  of  Styria  by  his  father,  was  intrusted 
with  the  regency  in  Austria.  He  succeeded  Frederick,  in  1198, 
and  played  an  important  part  in  the  affairs  of  Germany,  attaching 
himself  to  the  cause  of  Philip  of  Hohenstaufen.  Later  he  left 
Austria  to  take  part  in  a  crusade  in  Spain  against  the  Moors,  and 
in  1 217  he  again  took  the  cross,  set  out  for  Palestine,  accompanied 
by  Andrew  II.,  king  of  Hungary,  and  distinguished  himself  in  the 
expedition  against  Damietta. 

The  Emperor  Frederick  II.  took  every  possible  means  of  as- 
suring the  fidelity  of  so  powerful  a  vassal  and  so  valiant  a  knight. 
On  the  death  of  the  archbishop  of  Cologne,  he  appointed  him 
Reichsverweser,  or  vicar  of  the  empire,  and  he  gave  his  daughter 
in  marriage  to  Leopold's  son  Henry.  This  alliance  with  the  im- 
perial house,  and  the  important  position  in  Christendom  which 
Leopold  had  acquired,  enabled  him  to  play  the  part  of  mediator  in 
the  quarrels  which  arose  between  Frederick  and  the  Pope,  Honorius 
III.  With  this  end  in  view  he  journeyed  into  Italy  in  1229,  where 
he  died  in  the  following  year,  after  having  successfully  accom- 
plished his  mission. 

At  home  Leopold  endeavored  to  develop  the  commerce  and 
trade  of  his  country.  He  made  Vienna  the  staple  town,  and  lent 
a  sum  of  thirty  thousand  marks  of  silver  to  the  city  to  enable  it  to 
increase  its  trade.  He  adorned  it  with  many  new  buildings,  among 
them  the  Neue  Burg.  He  strengthened  the  defenses  of  the  fron- 
tiers, founded  new  monasteries,  and  granted  municipal  rights  to 
Enns,  Krems,  and  Vienna.  But  while  busy  with  the  interests  of 
the  state,  Leopold  did  not  forget  those  of  his  private  domains,  which 
he  increased  by  the  acquisition  of  various  allodial  estates  within 
his  duchy.  Besides  these  he  purchased  lands  in  Carniola  from 
Bishop  Gerald  of  Freisingen,  and  paved  the  way  to  the  future  an- 
nexation of  Carniola  to  Austria.  The  revenue  of  the  state  in  his 
time  rose  to  about  sixty  thousand  marks  of  silver. 

Leopold  the  Proud  was  succeeded  by  his  son,  Frederick  the 
Fighter  (1230-1246).  The  short  reign  of  this  prince  was  one 
continued  struggle  against  his  neighbors.  With  the  Emperor 
Frederick  II.  he  fought  against  Hungary  and  against  Bohemia, 
and  then  he  turned  against  Frederick  to  assist  the  Lombard  cities, 
in  support  of  the  emperor's  rival,  Henry  of  Thuringia,  who  had 
married  his  sister  Margaret.  His  aim  seemed  to  be  complete  inde- 
pendence, and  it  was  not  long  before  he  was  placed  under  the  ban 



of  the  empire,  and  Bohemia,  Bavaria,  Brandenburg,  and  Hungary 
all  took  up  arms  against  him.  The  celebrated  chancellor,  Peter  de 
Vinea,  was  called  upon  to  write  a  violent  pamphlet  against  him, 
in  which  he  was  represented  as  a  treacherous  member  of  the  empire 
and  a  monster  of  iniquity  who  had  forfeited  the  imperial  clemency. 
The  lands  of  the  upper  Enns  as  far  as  Linz  fell  into  the  hands  of 
Otto  of  Bavaria,  while  Vienna  was  declared  an  imperial  city,  and 
a  lieutenant  was  sent  by  the  emperor  to  govern  the  conquered  Aus- 
trian territory.  But  the  Fighter  defended  himself  with  vigor,  and 
in  the  end  reconquered  part  of  his  land,  and  became  reconciled  with 
the  emperor  in  1240.  Frederick  annulled  the  privileges  recently 
given  to  Vienna,  and  at  the  diet  of  Verona,  in  1245,  confirmed  the 
powers  which  had  been  granted  to  the  dukes  of  Austria  in  11 56. 
Thus  the  very  revolts  of  Austria  against  the  empire  turned  to  her 
advantage,  while  the  misfortunes  which  now  burst  over  her  neigh- 
bors were  of  equal  benefit  to  her. 

The  Mongols  had  invaded  Hungary,  and  King  Bela  applied  for 
help  to  Austria,  offering  in  exchange  for  her  assistance  to  pledge 
to  Frederick  the  Fighter  three  of  his  comitats.  Frederick,  who  was 
as  little  generous  toward  Bela  as  his  predecessor  had  been  toward 
Richard  Coeur  de  Lion,  demanded  their  entire  surrender,  and  then 
declared  war  against  Hungary.  He  died  on  June  15,  1246,  on  the 
banks  of  the  Leitha,  slain,  according  to  some,  by  the  Hungarians; 
according  to  others,  by  one  of  his  own  followers.  He  was  hated 
even  by  many  of  his  own  subjects.  "  A  hard  man,"  one  of  the 
chronicles  calls  him ;  "  cruel  in  his  judgment,  brave  in  fight, 
greedy,  and  rapacious.  He  had  filled  with  terror  both  his  friends 
and  his  neighbors.  No  man  loved  him;  all  feared  him,"  Ulric  of 
Lichtenstein,  the  knightly  poet  of  Styria,  is  more  tender  of  his 
memory :  "  He  is  dead  ...  he  has  left  great  woe  behind  him 
in  Styria  and  in  Austria.  .  .  .  Many  are  now  poor  who  were 
rich.  .  .  .  His  soul  must  be  in  heaven,  for  he  was  kind  to  the 
brave."  With  him  the  dynasty  of  Babenberg  came  to  an  end. 
Their  remains  lie  in  the  church  of  the  little  town  of  Molk,  which 
has  long  since  been  eclipsed  by  the  splendor  of  Vienna. 

The  immediate  authority  of  the  princes  of  the  empire  over 
the  lands  which  had  been  intrusted  to  them  had  been  greatly  in- 
creased by  the  right  of  inheritance,  conferred  in  the  first  instance 
upon  the  margraves,  and  afterward  upon  the  dukes,  while  the  quar- 
rels with  the  Popes  had  helped  to  weaken  the  authority  of  the 



emperors.  Gradually  corporations,  lay  and  ecclesiastical,  monas- 
teries, towns,  and  citizens  were  freed  from  their  dependence  on  the 
emperors,  and  placed  under  the  authority  of  the  princes.  This 
authority  is  called  by  German  historians  Landeshoheit ,  i.  e.,  lord- 
ship over  a  particular  district.  We  find  this  spirit  of  "  particular- 
ism "  especially  strong  in  southern  Germany.  Thus  as  early  as 
1 1 84  Otokar,  duke  of  Styria,  called  himself  Landesherr,  lord  of  the 
land ;  and  the  annexation  of  Styria  to  Austria  must  have  strength- 
ened the  feeling  of  local  independence. 

With  the  development  of  the  Landeshoheit  the  old  nobility  de- 
clined, and  its  place  was  filled  by  an  official  nobility,  composed  of 
the  followers  of  the  prince  who  bore  office  about  his  person;  and 
very  soon  the  difference  between  these  two  classes  disappeared,  as 
both  became  equally  dependent  on  the  prince.  In  this  matter  again 
Styria  set  the  example  to  Austria,  the  dukes  of  Austria  having 
promised  the  ministeriales  of  Styria  that  they  would  observe  those 
privileges  which  had  been  granted  to  them  by  their  earlier  princes. 

As  regards  municipal  law,  also,  Styria  was  ahead  of  Austria. 
As  early  as  1212  the  towns  of  Enns  obtained  from  the  emperor  a 
municipal  code,  or  stadtrecht,  the  text  of  which  is  preserved  to 
this  day  among  its  archives.  According  to  this  code,  the  lord  of 
the  land  is  the  archduke,  and  for  him  is  reserved  the  punishment  of 
certain  crimes;  his  will  is  law.  Under  him  judicial  authority  is 
exercised  by  a  town  judge,  assisted  by  an  inferior  magistrate 
(nachrichter)  and  by  police  (schergen),  who  are  paid  officials. 
The  stadtrecht  is  mainly  a  code  of  criminal  law  founded  on  the 
principal  of  wehrgeld;  in  all  cases  of  pecuniary  compensation  a 
third  of  the  fine  is  allotted  to  the  judge.  Trials  by  ordeal  are 
allowed.  The  law  of  inheritance  permits  the  wife  or  child  to  in- 
herit, or  the  nearest  relations,  if  they  reside  on  the  land  of  the 
duchy ;  if  not,  they  are  only  to  have  half.  The  foreigner  who  dies 
in  the  land  is  allowed  to  leave  his  property  to  whomsoever  he  likes ; 
if  he  dies  without  a  will,  for  a  year  and  a  day  it  is  held  in  trust  for 
his  heirs;  if  no  one  then  claims  it,  it  is  to  become  the  property  of 
the  duke.  A  municipal  council  is  formed  by  six  of  the  highest 
burgesses,  whose  business  it  is  to  control  the  markets  and  to  watch 
over  the  interests  of  the  town.  The  legal  maxim  of  England,  "  A 
man's  house  is  his  castle,"  is  well  known;  the  stadrecht  maintains 
the  inviolability  of  the  household  in  almost  the  same  words :  "  We 
will  that  for  each  citizen  his  house  shall  be  a  fortress  {pro  muni- 



tione)  for  himself,  his  family,  and  whomsoever  may  enter  his  door." 
Every  violation  of  the  hearth  is  punished  by  a  fine  of  five  marks  or 
the  loss  of  a  hand.  The  citizens  are  to  have  the  right  of  keeping 
horses,  both  for  their  business  and  amusement. 

Leopold  VI.  took  this  code  as  his  model  for  the  one  he  granted 
to  Vienna  in  1221,  wherein,  indeed,  he  carried  its  principals  even 
farther.  Thus  to  the  laws  concerning  the  inviolability  of  the  house- 
hold it  is  added  that  no  one  shall  enter  a  house  with  a  bow  or  a 
quiver;  that  no  one  shall  walk  about  the  town  with  a  poignard  at 
his  girdle,  under  penalty  of  the  payment  of  a  talent  and  the  for- 
feiture of  the  weapon;  that  he  who  shall  conceal  a  weapon  in  his 
boot  shall  pay  ten  talents  or  lose  his  hand.  The  chief  citizens  of 
each  district  of  the  town  are  ordered  to  exercise  supervision  over 
all  business  transactions  exceeding  the  amount  of  two  talents.  A 
striking  analogy  is  to  be  found  between  the  municipal  laws  of 
Babenberg  and  those  of  the  Flemish  and  Picard  towns,  Ghent, 
Bruges,  Ypres,  Arras,  Furnes,  and  Laon.  This  is  explained  by  the 
large  trade  which  the  Flemings  carried  on  in  the  Danubian 
countries,  especially  in  Hungary.  Flemish  merchants  resided  in 
Vienna,  and  as  early  as  1208  we  find  them  in  possession  of  certain 

The  laws  concerning  the  Jews  deserve  special  notice,  as  they 
are  singularly  liberal  for  the  time.  From  1200  onward  they  have 
their  synagogues  in  Vienna.  The  coining  of  money  is  intrusted 
to  them,  with  the  title  of  "  counts  of  the  chamber."  Some  of  the 
laws  show  remarkable  tolerance,  especially  if  we  consider  the 
prejudices  of  the  Middle  Ages;  for  example,  if  a  stolen  article  is 
found  in  the  house  of  a  Jew  it  is  enough  for  him  to  swear  that  he 
has  purchased  it,  and  he  has  only  to  restore  it  for  what  he  gave  for 
it.  The  laws  of  Hungary,  Poland,  Bohemia,  and  Thuringia  con- 
cerning Jews  were  all  copied  from  those  of  Austria. 

Under  the  protection  of  peaceful  laws  the  trade  and  industry 
of  Austria  developed  rapidly.  The  situation  of  the  country  was 
especially  fortunate  as  regards  commerce,  placed  as  she  was  on  the 
frontiers  of  Germany,  Bohemia,  and  Hungary,  and  with  the  Dan- 
ube as  her  river.  A  rhymed  chronicler  enthusiastically  celebrates 
her  splendor  and  prosperity :  "  This  land  has  everything  in  abun- 
dance— cattle  and  wine,  com  and  other  fruits,  all  that  is  needed  for 
the  food  of  man — game  and  fish  and  excellent  bread.  The  Danube, 
with  her  clear  waters,  adorns  the  landscape,  and  brings  day  and 



night  without  pause  all  that  is  needed  to  the  towns  and  the 

Commercial  relations  between  Styria  and  Italy  were  estab- 
lished at  an  early  date.  To  increase  them  Leopold  built  a  bridge 
of  stone  over  the  Save,  at  the  spot  called  to  this  day  Steinbriick. 
But  trade  in  those  days  was  far  from  being  free.  For  example, 
the  town  of  Gratz  had  the  rights  of  a  staple  town ;  all  foreign  goods 
had  to  be  brought  there  to  be  weighed  on  the  town  scales,  and 
could  only  be  carried  by  the  town  wagons.  The  rules  of  the  staple 
in  some  other  towns  contained  still  more  irksome  regulations.  All 
goods  sent  through  the  town  of  Bruck,  on  the  River  Mur,  had  to 
be  exposed  in  the  public  square  and  put  up  at  auction,  and  only 
that  portion  which  had  found  no  purchaser  among  the  citizens 
was  allowed  to  leave  the  place. 

Enns  was  the  great  commercial  city  on  the  way  from  Ratis- 
bon  to  Vienna.  It  was  the  great  warehouse  of  the  Augsburg  mer- 
chants, who  went  to  buy  furs  at  the  fair  of  Kiev,  and  carried  west- 
em  wares  into  Russia.  Along  the  same  road  were  Medlich,  St. 
Polten,  Tulln,  Stein,  and  Mauthausen.  Along  it  traveled  the  mer- 
chants of  Burgundy,  Lorraine,  Cologne,  and  Maestricht ;  the  woven 
stuffs  of  the  east,  the  furs  of  Hungary,  the  silks  of  Venice,  found 
their  way  by  it  to  the  north  and  west.  Purchase  and  sale  were 
carried  on  partly  by  money,  partly  by  barter.  The  money  of  the 
Babenbergs  was  coined  at  Venice  and  Neustadt ;  few  of  these  coins 
remain.  For  those  times  the  riches  of  Austria  were  great,  and 
manners  improved  in  consequence  of  this  prosperity.  The  mon- 
asteries furnished  a  large  number  of  chroniclers,  and  schools  were 
opened  by  the  monks.  The  theater  seems  to  have  been  unknown; 
we  meet  with  but  one  mention  of  an  Easter  mystery,  Osterspiel; 
this  was  at  the  monastery  of  St.  Florian.  Poetry,  however,  was 
cultivated  with  ardor  at  the  court  of  the  Babenbergs,  and,  accord- 
ing to  tradition,  Leopold  VI.  was  a  poet  and  Frederick  the  Fighter 
wrote  love  songs.  Three  of  the  most  celebrated  of  the  minne- 
singers, Reinar  von  Hagenau,  Walter  von  der  Vogelweide,  and 
Reinar  von  Zweter,  passed  part  of  their  lives  there.  Walter  called 
Austria  his  second  fatherland.  It  was  there,  he  said,  that  he 
had  learned  to  sing  and  to  relate  stories.  Several  times  he  cele- 
brates the  names  of  Leopold  VI.  and  Frederick  the  Fighter.  Tann- 
haiiser  praised  Frederick  11.  during  his  life  and  mourned  for  him 
after  his  death.    "  With  him,"  he  says,  "  all  joy  is  dead."    Another 



poet,  Nidhart  of  Reuenthal,  the  Bavarian,  also  dwelt  for  some  time 
in  Austria,  and  his  poems  very  pleasantly  describe  the  dances  and 
rustic  games  of  the  country. 

But  the  minnesingers  did  not  flourish  in  Austria  only.  We 
find  them  also  in  Styria,  where  lived  Rudolf  van  Stadek,  and 
where  may  still  be  seen  the  castle  of  Ulric  von  Lichtenstein,  on 
the  banks  of  the  Mur.  He  was  cupbearer  to  Duke  Frederick. 
This  singer  of  the  most  tender  sentiments  and  most  refined  gal- 
lantry never  knew  how  to  read  or  write.  At  the  famous  poetical 
tournament  at  the  Wartburg,  at  the  court  of  Thuringia,  where  the 
seven  greatest  singers  then  living  rivaled  one  another  in  singing 
the  praises  of  their  masters,  it  was  to  the  sun  itself,  says  the  legend, 
that  Henry  of  Oftedingen  compared  the  duke  of  Austria. 

Chapter    IX 

HAPSBURGS.    1273-1493 

HISTORIANS  have  given  the  name  of  "  the  Austrian  In- 
terregnum "  to  the  period  which  elapsed  between  the 
death  of  the  last  of  the  Babenbergs  and  the  accession  of 
the  first  prince  of  the  house  of  Hapsburg.  We  have  already  seen, 
in  the  history  of  Bohemia,  how  the  inheritance  of  the  last  Baben- 
berg  was  for  a  time  united  to  Bohemia;  thirty  years  elapsed  after 
the  death  of  Frederick  the  Fighter  before  it  fell  into  the  hands  of 
the  family  which  now  holds  possession  of  it.  The  origin  of  this 
family  has  been  a  constant  puzzle  to  the  fertile  imaginations  of 
genealogists.  Some  among  them  trace  it  back  to  the  Merovingians, 
others  to  the  Carlovingians,  others  again,  to  Ethico,  duke  of  Ala- 
mannia,  who  is  supposed  to  have  been  the  common  stock  from 
which  sprang  the  houses  of  Hapsburg,  Lorraine,  and  Baden. 
What  is  quite  certain  is  that  the  house  of  Hapsburg  is  of  Alamannic 
origin.  The  first  domains  held  by  it  were  in  Alsace,  Switzerland, 
and  Suabia.  It  took  its  name  from  the  castle  of  Hapsburg,  which 
was  built  in  the  year  1027  by  Werner,  bishop  of  Strasburg,  on  the 
heights  of  Windisch,  near  the  River  Aar,  in  what  is  now  the  canton 

The  first  mention  of  the  castle  of  Hapsburg,  Habichtsburg, 
the  castle  ,of  vultures,  the  ruins  of  which  still  remain,  occurs  in 
a  document  of  the  year  1099.  The  immediate  successors  of 
Werner  increased  the  family  possessions  and  influence  through  for- 
tunate marriages  and  gifts,  and  especially  by  acting  as  advocates 
and  stewards  for  neighboring  abbeys  and  cities.  But  it  was  not  till 
the  succession  of  Rudolf  of  Hapsburg,  first,  in  1240,  to  the  scat- 
tered family  estates  on  the  upper  Rhine,  and  then,  in  1273,  to  the 
imperial  dignity,  that  the  Hapsburgs  take  their  place  among  the 
princely  families  of  Europe.  Rudolf  was  born  in  1218,  was  early 
instructed  in  the  exercise  and  use  of  arms  and  knightly  practices, 
and  became  one  of  the  most  redoubtable  warriors  of  his  day.    Ac- 



tive,  aggressive,  warlike,  and  yet  prudent,  he  soon  won  for  him- 
self a  wide  reputation  for  prowess  and  wisdom,  and  before  his 
death  the  Hapsburg  possessions  not  only  had  been  increased  enor- 
mously, but  their  political  center  of  gravity  shifted  from  the  Rhine 
to  the  middle  Danube.  It  is  to  Rudolf  that  the  Austrian  state 
owes  its  origin,  and  the  extensive  nature  of  his  acquisition  affords 
ample  justification  for  the  exclamation  of  the  bishop  of  Basel, 
"  Sit  fast,  good  Lord,  or  Rudolf  will  have  Thy  throne." 

Rudolf's  acquisition  of  the  Austrian  lands  in  his  great  victory 
on  the  March  Field  in  1278  over  Otokar  has  been  narrated  in  con- 
nection with  the  history  of  Bohemia.  Upper  and  Lower  Austria, 
Styria,  Carinthia,  and  Carniola,  and  rights  of  investiture  in  Bo- 
hemia and  Moravia  were  added  to  the  hereditary  estates,  and  the 
basis  for  the  modern  Austria  was  laid.  It  is  true  that  Rudolf  ex- 
perienced great  difficulty  in  transferring  the  Austrian  territories 
to  his  family,  but  in  the  end  the  Hapsburg  sway  was  acknowl- 
edged by  all.  In  1282,  after  obtaining  the  sanction  of  the  electors, 
he  solemnly  invested  his  two  sons,  Albert  and  Rudolf,  with  Austria, 
Styria,  and  Carniola;  and  a  few  years  later,  in  1286,  he  assigned 
Carinthia  to  Menhardt  of  Tyrol,  to  reward  him  for  the  help  he  had 
received  from  him  in  his  war  against  Premysl  Otokar.  But  the 
states  of  Austria  and  Styria  were  but  little  satisfied  with  their  new 
master;  they  disliked  the  Suabian  counselors  whom  Albert  brought 
with  him,  and  before  long  a  revolution  broke  out  in  Austria.  The 
town  of  Vienna,  which,  during  the  struggle  with  Otokar,  Rudolf 
had  made  into  a  fief  directly  dependent  upon  himself,  revolted,  and 
was  only  subdued  by  force  of  arms.  Nor  was  he  more  fortunate  in 
regard  to  the  imperial  dignity.  For  notwithstanding  his  signal 
service  to  the  empire  and  his  earnest  efforts  to  secure  the  election 
for  his  only  surviving  son,  Albert,  the  electors  persistently  refused 
to  comply  with  his  wishes.  Rudolf  died  on  July  15,  1291,  in  his 
seventy-third  year,  and  his  body  was  interred  at  Spire  with  those  of 
former  emperors.  He  was  a  remarkable  man  and  a  ruler  well 
worthy  of  the  illustrious  house  which  for  so  many  generations  has 
continued  in  unbroken  descent  as  rulers  in  Austria.  His  personal  ap- 
pearance was  most  unusual.  Over  six  feet  in  height,  he  was  tall 
and  slender,  with  a  small  head,  pale  face,  and  large  aquiline  nose. 
His  face  when  in  repose  was  grave  and  serious,  but  in  conversation 
at  once  became  animated,  reflecting  the  enthusiasm  and  energy  of 
his  thoughts  and  feelings.     He  dressed  very  simply,  and  his  man- 



ners  were  pleasing  and  chivalrous.  Of  his  reign  his  contemporary 
tells  us  that  in  spite  of  great  wars  "  his  very  name  spread  fear  and 
terror  among  the  licentious  barons,  and  joy  among  the  people;  as 
the  light  sprung  from  darkness,  so  arose  peace  and  tranquillity  from 
war  and  desolation.  The  peasant  resumed  the  plow,  which  he  had 
neglected ;  the  merchant,  whom  the  fear  of  plunder  had  confined  to 
his  dwelling,  now  traversed  the  country  with  confidence  and  se- 
curity; and  robbers  and  banditti,  who  had  roved  fearlessly  in  the 
face  of  day,  now  hid  in  coverts  and  wastes." 

Rudolf's  son  and  successor,  Albert  I.,  did  not  obtain  the 
imperial  crown  till  1298,  and  in  Austria  his  reign  was  disturbed 
by  troubles  with  the  town  of  Vienna  and  also  with  the  archbishop 
of  Salzburg.  He  did  succeed  in  getting  the  crown  of  Bohemia  for 
his  son,  but  he  was  unable  to  retain  it.  Two  centuries  were  to 
elapse  before  the  house  of  Hapsburg  was  to  gain  possession  of  the 
kingdom  of  St.  Vacslav.  In  1308  Albert  died  at  the  hands  of  an 
assassin  in  Switzerland.  His  son,  Frederick  the  Handsome,  vainly 
tried  to  obtain  the  imperial  crown;  together  with  that  of  Bohemia 
it  passed  to  the  house  of  Luxemburg.  Out  of  this  grew  a  long 
war,  which  ended  in  the  battle  of  Miihldorf  and  the  defeat  of  Fred- 
erick in  1322.  Nevertheless  Frederick  concluded  a  treaty  with  his 
rival  which  secured  to  them  a  joint  jurisdiction.  Frederick  took 
the  title  of  king  of  the  Romans,  but  he  had  hardly  any  of  the  power 
attached  to  the  name.  He  died  in  1330.  His  two  brothers,  Albert 
the  Wise  and  Otto  the  Gay,  threatened  to  renew  the  war  with  the 
emperor,  but  a  common  danger  from  the  king  of  Bohemia,  who  had 
married  his  second  son,  Henry,  to  the  celebrated  Margaret  Maul- 
tasche,  or  Margaret  of  the  pouch-mouth,  daughter  of  the  duke  of 
Tyrol  and  Carinthia,  and  who  hoped  by  this  union  to  regain  the 
duchies  for  Bohemia,  again  united  the  emperor  and  the  Austrian 
princes.  By  the  Treaty  of  Hagenau,  in  1330,  it  was  arranged 
that  on  the  death  of  Duke  Henry,  who  had  no  male  heirs,  Carin- 
thia should  become  the  property  of  Austria,  and  the  Tyrol  that  of 
the  emperor.  Henry  died  in  1335,  whereupon  the  emperor,  Louis 
of  Bavaria,  declared  that  Margaret  Maultasche  had  forfeited 
all  rights  of  inheritance,  and  proceeded  to  assign  the  two  provinces 
to  the  Austrian  princes,  with  the  exception  of  some  portion  of  the 
Tyrol,  which  devolved  on  the  house  of  Wittelsbach.  Carinthia 
alone,  however,  obeyed  the  emperor;  the  Tyrolese  nobles  declared 
for  Margaret,  and  with  the  help  of  her  father-in-law,  John  of  Bo- 



hemia,  she  was  able  to  keep  possession  of  this  part  of  her  in- 
heritance. Thus  early  did  the  Tyrolese  display  that  loyalty  for 
which  they  afterward  became  so  famous. 

Carinthia  also  did  not  long  remain  in  the  undisputed  posses- 
sion of  Austria.  Margaret  was  soon  divorced  from  her  youthful 
husband,  and  shortly  after  married  the  son  of  the  Emperor  Louis 
of  Bavaria,  who  hoped  to  be  able  to  invest  his  son,  not  only  with 
the  Tyrol,  but  also  with  Carinthia.  During  the  whole  of  this  time 
Bohemia  and  Austria  were  in  a  perpetual  state  of  oscillation  and 
unstable  equilibrium.  When,  however,  Charles  IV.  of  Bohemia 
was  chosen  emperor,  he  consented  to  leave  Carinthia  in  the  posses- 
sion of  Austria.  Albert  did  homage  for  it,  and  rejoiced  all  the 
more  at  the  restoration  of  peace  with  the  empire  because  just  then 
his  unsuccessful  struggle  with  Zurich  and  Glarus  claimed  all  his 

This  prince  not  only  increased  the  territories  of  Austria,  but 
his  home  policy  was  also  extremely  able,  and  his  good  government 
earned  for  him  the  surname  of  the  Wise.  He  gave  Vienna  a 
new  municipal  code,  also  one  to  Klagenfurt,  the  capital  of  Carin- 
thia, and  put  an  end  to  trial  by  combat  in  the  latter  country.  He 
died  in  1358,  at  the  age  of  sixty-nine.  "  He  was,"  says  a  contem- 
porary, "  a  man  beloved  of  God,  honored  in  many  lands,  and  a 
generous  father  to  many  kings  and  princes." 

According  to  the  wish  of  their  father,  the  four  sons  of  Albert 
reigned  after  him;  but  the  eldest,  Rudolf  IV.,  exercised  executive 
authority  in  the  name  of  the  others.  This  prince  was  called  by  four 
surnames — the  Silent,  the  Magnificent,  the  Learned,  and  the 
Founder.  "  Each  one,"  says  Krones,  "  characterized  one  of  his 
qualities.  He  always  preserved  the  greatest  secrecy  about  his  plans. 
He  surrounded  himself  by  a  magnificent  court,  and  loved  high- 
sounding  titles,  not  from  childish  vanity,  but  because  he  knew  how 
much  importance  the  world  attaches  to  such  things.  He  was  in  all 
things  the  rival  of  his  father-in-law,  Charles  IV.,  but  more  espe- 
cially in  that  which  concerned  foundations  in  favor  of  the  church, 
and  of  science  and  art;  he  was  learned  in  the  knowledge  of  history, 
a  knowledge  rare  among  his  contemporaries.  We  are  even  told  that 
he  had  a  secret  method  of  writing,  which  was  no  doubt  the  art  of 
writing  in  cipher."  He  was  only  nineteen  when  he  came  to  the 
throne,  but  he  had  already  married  one  of  the  daughters  of  the 
Emperor    Charles    IV.      Notwithstanding    this    family    alliance, 



Charles  had  not  given  Austria  such  a  place  in  the  Golden  Bull  as 
seemed  likely  to  secure  either  her  territorial  importance  or  a  proper 
position  for  her  princes.  They  had  not  been  admitted  into  the  elec- 
toral college  of  the  empire,  and  yet  their  scattered  possessions 
stretched  from  the  banks  of  the  Leitha  to  the  Rhine ;  three  dukes  of 
Austria  had  filled  the  highest  place  in  the  empire,  and  yet  they  were 
excluded  from  its  council,  and  were  thrown  into  the  shade  by  their 
old  rival,  the  house  of  Luxemburg.  These  grievances  were  en- 
hanced by  their  feeling  of  envy  toward  Bohemia,  which  had  attained 
great  prosperity  under  Charles  IV.  It  was  at  this  time  that  in  order 
to  increase  the  importance  of  his  house,  Rudolf  or  his  officers  of 
state  had  recourse  to  a  measure  which  was  often  employed  in  that 
age  by  princes,  religious  bodies,  and  even  by  the  Holy  See.  It  was 
pretended  that  there  were  in  existence  a  whole  series  of  charters 
which  had  been  granted  to  the  house  of  Austria  by  various  kings 
and  emperors,  and  which  secured  to  their  princes  a  position  en- 
tirely independent  of  both  empire  and  emperor.  According  to  these 
documents,  and  more  especially  the  one  called  the  privilegium 
majus,  the  duke  of  Austria  owed  no  kind  of  service  to  the  empire, 
which  was,  however,  bound  to  protect  him;  only  in  case  of  an  ex- 
pedition against  Hungary  was  he  bound  to  furnish  troops,  and  then 
only  twelve  knights;  he  was  to  appear  at  the  diets  with  the  title  of 
archduke,  and  was  to  have  the  first  place  among  the  electors;  the 
prince  might  dispose  of  the  state  as  he  wished  without  even  con- 
sulting the  emperor;  he  need  not  go  outside  his  dominions  to  seek 
investiture,  but  was  to  receive  it  on  his  own  land,  and  on  horseback ; 
no  fief  in  his  lands  could  be  held  by  the  emperor.  All  these  privi- 
leges were  secured,  not  only  to  the  dominions  of  Austria  at  that 
time,  but  to  all  lands  they  might  become  possessed  of  in  the  future. 
Rudolf  pretended  that  these  documents  had  just  come  to  light,  and 
demanded  their  confirmation  from  Charles  IV.,  who  refused  it. 
Nevertheless,  on  the  strength  of  these  lying  charters,  he  took  the 
title  of  palatine  archduke,  and  used  the  royal  insignia  without  wait- 
ing to  ask  the  leave  of  Charles. 

Charles  IV.,  who  could  not  fail  to  be  irritated  by  these  pre- 
tensions, in  his  turn  revived  the  claims  which  he  had  inherited  from 
Premysl  Otokar  II.,  to  the  lands  of  Austria,  Styria,  Carinthia,  and 
Carniola.  These  claims,  however,  were  simply  theoretical,  and  no 
attempt  was  made  to  enforce  them,  and  the  mediation  of  Louis  the 
Great,  king  of  Hungary,  finally  led  to  a  treaty,  in  1364,  between 



the  two  princes,  which  satisfied  the  ambition  of  the  Hapsburgs. 
By  this  treaty  the  houses  of  Hapsburg  in  Austria  and  of  Luxem- 
burg in  Bohemia  each  guaranteed  the  inheritance  of  their  lands  to 
the  other,  in  case  of  the  extinction  of  either  of  the  two  families,  and 
the  estates  of  Bohemia  and  Austria  ratified  this  agreement.  A 
similar  compact  was  concluded  between  Austria  and  Hungary,  and 
thus  the  boundaries  of  the  future  Austrian  state  were  for  the  first 
time  marked  out. 

Rudolf  himself  gained  little  by  these  long  and  intricate  nego- 
tiations, the  Tyrol  being  all  he  added  to  his  territory.  Margaret 
Maultasche  had  married  her  son  Meinhard  to  the  daughter  of  Al- 
bert the  Wise,  at  the  same  time  declaring  that,  in  default  of  male 
heirs  to  her  son,  the  Tyrol  should  once  more  become  the  possession 
of  Austria,  and  it  did  so  in  1363.  This  was  a  most  important  event 
to  Austria.  It  united  Austria  with  the  old  possessions  of  the  Haps- 
burgs in  Switzerland  and  Germany,  and  opened  the  way  into  Italy. 
Rudolf  persuaded  Margaret  Maultasche  to  take  up  her  residence  in 
Vienna,  in  order  to  secure  himself  against  any  possible  caprice  on 
the  part  of  that  restless  and  dissolute  princess.  Her  memory  still 
survives  among  the  Tyrolese.  A  woman  of  insatiable  lust  and  bold- 
ness, she  is  one  of  the  strange  creatures  of  the  Middle  Ages,  and 
plays  a  conspicuous  part  in  the  national  legends.  The  Tyrolese 
peasant  still  believes  that,  on  the  nights  following  the  fasts  of  the 
four  seasons,  the  phantom  of  the  bose  gret,  the  wicked  and  volup- 
tuous princess,  may  be  seen  among  the  ruins  of  the  old  castle  of 

The  reign  of  Rudolf  IV.,  though  so  full  of  events,  was  but 
short.  He  endeavored  to  rival  his  father-in-law,  Charles  IV.,  in 
everything,  and  loved  to  say  that  in  his  own  lands  he  would  be 
pope,  emperor,  bishop,  and  dean.  His  home  government  was  as 
able  as  his  foreign  policy.  Though  he  had  falsified  charters,  he 
never  falsified  the  coinage,  a  financial  expedient  which  was  but  too 
much  in  fashion  in  the  Middle  Ages.  He  imposed  a  tax  on  wine 
and  beer,  and  encouraged  trade  and  manufactures.  On  April  7, 
1356,  he  laid  the  foundations  of  the  cathedral  of  St.  Stephen  at 
Vienna,  one  of  the  noblest  monuments  of  Gothic  art  in  Europe. 
Charles  IV.  had  founded  the  University  of  Prague;  Rudolf  insti- 
tuted the  University  of  Vienna  on  the  model  of  that  of  Paris,  and 
endowed  it  with  large  estates  and  numerous  privileges.  This  uni- 
versity was  divided  into  four  nations,  the  Austrian,  Rhenish,  Hun- 



garian,  and  Saxon,  and  from  the  first  had  teachers  of  renown,  such 
as  the  theologians  Henry  of  Langenstein  and  Henry  of  Aoyta. 

Rudolf  died  in  1365  at  Milan,  whither  he  had  gone  to  marry 
his  young  brother,  Leopold,  to  the  sister  of  Barnabo  Visconti.  He 
had  reigned  for  seven  years — one  of  the  shortest  reigns  of  his  dy- 
nasty, but  also  one  of  the  most  important. 

He  left  no  children.  His  two  brothers,  Albert  with  the  Plaited 
Hair  (d  la  tresse),  and  Leopold  HI.,  called  the  Pious,  succeeded 
him.  Their  tempers  were  so  different  that  they  could  not  reign 
together,  and,  breaking  through  all  the  traditions  of  their  family, 
they  divided  the  hereditary  estates  in  1379.  Albert  kept  Austria, 
and  left  Styria,  Carinthia,  the  Tyrol,  and  the  old  possessions  of 
the  Hapsburgs  in  Suabia  and  Alsace  to  Leopold.  The  Emperor 
Charles  IV.  was  only  too  glad  to  ratify  a  division  which  could  not 
fail  to  weaken  a  formidable  power.  "  We  have  long  labored,"  he 
said,  "  to  humiliate  the  house  of  Austria,  and,  behold,  now  it  hum- 
bles itself!" 

The  reign  of  the  first  prince  of  the  Albertine  branch  presents 
no  feature  of  importance.  In  that  of  his  son,  Albert  IV.,  1395- 
1404,  William,  the  eldest  son  of  Leopold  III.,  laid  claim  to  the 
administration  of  all  the  Hapsburg  domains,  notwithstanding  the 
agreement  between  their  fathers,  and  after  a  long  struggle  a  new 
compact  was  entered  into  by  the  cousins  by  which  Albert  kept  Aus- 
tria and  even  Camiola,  recognizing  William  as  co-regent.  Under 
Albert  IV.  the  sect  of  the  Vaudois  made  considerable  progress  in 
Austria,  in  spite  of  the  strong  measures  he  took  against  them.  He 
was  a  man  of  great  piety,  and  liked  to  spend  much  of  his  time  among 
the  monks  of  Marbach.  Some  of  his  contemporaries  give  him  the 
name  of  the  Patient.  In  1400  he  undertook  a  dangerous  pilgrim- 
age to  Palestine,  the  fame  of  which  was  much  noised  abroad,  and 
earned  for  him  the  fanciful  title  of  Mirabilia  Mundi.  He  took  the 
part  of  Vacslav  IV.,  king  of  Bohemia,  in  his  struggles  against  his 
enemies,  and  in  return  for  his  help  received  from  that  prince  a  rati- 
fication of  the  treaty  of  succession  entered  into  by  Bohemia  and 
Austria  in  the  time  of  Rudolf.  He  was  equally  successful  in  his 
dealings  with  Hungary,  from  whose  king  he  obtained  a  similar 
convention.  He  died  in  1404  on  an  expedition  against  Moravia  to 
punish  certain  Moravian  lords  who  had  ravaged  Austrian  territory. 

His  son,  Albert  V.,  was  only  seven  years  old  at  the  time  of'his 
father's  death;  during  his  minority  the  princes  of  the  Leopoldine 



branch  were  his  guardians.  Their  brutal  government  provoked 
serious  discontent  in  Austria,  and  the  nobles  proclaimed  the  prince 
of  age  when  he  was  only  fourteen.  Albert  V.  was  a  wise  adminis- 
trator. Moreover,  his  marriage  with  Elizabeth,  daughter  of  the 
Emperor  Sigismund,  king  of  Bohemia  and  Hungary,  in  1422,  se- 
cured to  him  the  possession  of  Moravia,  which  was  the  dowry  of 
that  princess,  and  the  probable  succession  to  the  thrones  of  both 
those  kingdoms.  In  1437,  after  the  pacification  of  Bohemia,  Sigis- 
mund assembled  the  estates  of  Bohemia  and  Hungary  and  proposed 
Duke  Albert  as  his  successor,  and  he  was  accepted  by  the  Hun- 
garians and  by  the  Catholics  of  Bohemia.  On  the  death  of  his 
father-in-law  he  was  chosen  emperor  under  the  name  of  Albert 
II.,  and  thus,  in  1438,  united  the  three  crowns  which  had  been  so 
much  coveted  by  his  family.  Thenceforth  the  dynasty  of  the  Haps- 
burgs  was  to  keep  uninterrupted  the  possession  of  the  imperial 
throne.  The  Albertine  branch  became  extinct  on  the  death  of 
Albert's  son,  Ladislas  the  Posthumous,  duke  of  Austria,  king  of 
Bohemia  and  of  Hungary,  in  1457. 

Leopold  the  Pious  (1365-1386)  had  obtained,  in  the  division 
of  the  Austrian  dominions,  Styria,  Carinthia,  Carniola,  and  the 
Tyrol,  together  with  the  old  family  possessions  in  Suabia  and  Al- 
sace. He  rounded  his  dominions  by  several  acquisitions,  only  one 
of  whicli,  the  town  of  Triest,  is  of  any  importance  to  Austrian  his- 
tory. Weary  of  the  double  rule  of  the  Venetian  republic  and  the 
patriarch  of  Aquileia,  this  town  voluntarily  sought  the  protection 
of  Leopold  in  1382,  only  stipulating  that  he  should  confirm  its 
privileges  and  its  municipal  liberty.  This  acquisition  was  of 
great  importance  to  Austria,  as  it  gave  her  access  to  the  sea  and 
brought  her  nearer  to  northern  Italy,  where  she  interfered  repeat- 
edly in  the  struggles  between  the  towns  and  the  princes.  Less  for- 
tunate in  Switzerland,  where  the  Forest  Cantons  rose  against  him, 
Leopold  lost  both  victory  and  life  at  the  battle  of  Sempach  in  1386. 
This  led  to  the  overthrow  of  the  Hapsburg  claims  to  overlordship 
and  to  the  independence  of  the  confederation. 

The  reigns  of  Leopold's  immediate  successors,  William  and 
Leopold  IV.,  have  no  interest  for  us.  On  the  accession  of  Fred- 
crick  of  the  Empty  Purse,  in  141 1,  the  dominions  of  the  Leopoldine 
branch,  after  several  divisions,  were  formed  into  two  groups — one 
including  the  Tyrol  and  the  Voriande,  those,  namely,  in  south- 
western Germany ;  the  other,  Styria,  Carinthia,  and  Carniola.    Fred- 





erick  settled  himself  at  Innsbruck,  and  his  brother  Ernest,  the  Man 
of  Iron,  at  Gratz.  Ernest  married  Cymburga,  daughter  of  the 
Polish  duke  of  Mazovia.  It  is  said  to  be  from  her  that  the  Haps- 
burgs  have  inherited  the  thick,  protruding  lip  which  is  so  character- 
istic of  the  family.  She  was  the  mother  of  the  Emperor  Frederick 
IV.  and  grandmother  of  Maximilian. 

Frederick  had  to  maintain  a  struggle  against  the  nobles  of 
the  Tyrol,  who  formed  a  strong  league  against  him  under  the 
leadership  of  the  lord  of  Wolkenstein.  He  sought  aid  against  them 
among  the  citizens  and  peasants.  He  did  his  best  to  remain  at  peace 
with  the  Swiss,  but  they  managed  to  profit  by  his  troubles.  On 
his  way  to  the  Council  of  Constance  Pope  John  XXIII.  had  met 
Frederick  at  Meran,  and  had  then  conferred  on  him  the  title  of 
gonfalonier  of  the  church.  In  return  for  this  honor  Frederick 
helped  the  Pope  in  his  flight  from  Constance,  and  even  offered  him 
an  asylum  in  his  dominions.  For  this  he  was  placed  under  the 
ban  of  the  empire  and  excommunicated,  and  the  Swiss,  rising  in  re- 
volt, destroyed  the  castle  of  Hapsburg.  Frederick  was  obliged  to 
yield.  He  gave  up  John  XXIII.  to  his  enemies,  and  was  forced  to 
surrender  all  his  domains  and  to  receive  in  return  from  the  em- 
peror, as  an  act  of  grace,  just  what  he  chose  to  restore  to  him. 
"  You  know  the  power  of  the  dukes  of  Austria,"  Sigismund  is  said 
to  have  exclaimed.  "  Judge  then  from  what  you  have  seen  what 
an  emperor  can  do."  This  saying  may  be  coupled  with  that  at- 
tributed to  Ernest,  the  Man  of  Iron :  "  God  be  with  you,  Haps- 
burg," said  the  emperor  to  him  in  a  contemptuous  tone.  "  Thanks, 
Luxemburg,"  replied  the  Man  of  Iron.  That  Frederick  was  not 
deprived  of  the  Tyrol  was  due  to  his  brother  Ernest,  and  yet  he 
had  more  than  once  to  contend  against  Ernest,  as  the  latter  was 
both  ambitious  and  turbulent.  On  his  death,  in  1424,  Frederick 
became  the  guardian  of  his  two  sons,  Frederick  and  Albert,  who 
were  minors  and  who  reigned  together.  Frederick  of  the  Empty 
Purse  died  in  1439.  The  citizens  and  peasants  of  the  Tyrol,  to 
whom  he  had  granted  many  privileges,  still  reverence  his  memoiy. 
His  son  Sigismund  (1439-1496)  succeeded  to  his  Austrian  pos- 
sessions, and  his  nephew,  Frederick  V.,  became  emperor  in  1440, 
under  the  name  of  Frederick  IV.  (1440-1493).  Under  him  all 
the  Hapsburg  lands  were  again  united. 

Frederick  V.  was  the  father  of  Maximilian  and  the  great- 
grandfather of  Charles  V.  and  Ferdinand  of  Austria.     It  is  well 



known  to  what  a  height  of  glory  the  house  of  Austria,  ruler  of 
Europe  and  of  the  New  World,  attained  under  these  princes.  We 
shall  only  notice  here  those  facts  in  the  reign  of  Frederick  which 
belong  to  the  history  of  the  hereditary  states.  He  created  Austria 
an  archduchy ;  he  obtained  possession  of  the  county  of  Cilly  on  the 
death  of  its  count,  Ulric;  and  he  gained  the  right  of  succession  to 
the  territories  of  his  house  in  Alsace  and  Suabia,  as  well  as  the 
Tyrol,  for  his  son,  Maximilian,  stipulating  to  pay  in  return  an 
annual  sum  to  Sigismund,  the  son  of  Frederick  of  the  Empty 
Purse.  Sigismund  had  assigned  these  lands  to  the  house  of  Ba- 
varia, but  Frederick  was  able  to  interfere  in  time.  Besides  this, 
he  acquired  the  town  of  Fiume,  which  was  one  day  to  rival  Triest 
on  the  Adriatic.  Himly  says :  "  Possessed  of  no  genius  whatever, 
but  endowed  with  extraordinary  tenacity  of  purpose,  Frederick 
knew  how  to  wait,  and  also  how  to  outlive  all  his  neighbors  and 
all  his  enemies.  It  was  thus  he  was  able  laboriously  to  unite  the 
whole  of  the  territories  of  the  house  of  Hapsburg,  and  to  secure 
to  his  own  line  the  unbroken  succession  to  the  imperial  crown." 
In  his  reign  we  first  meet  with  the  famous  monogram  A.  E.  I.  O.  U. 
It  is  to  be  found  on  his  pottery,  on  the  books  of  his  library,  and  on 
his  tomb  in  the  church  of  St.  Stephen.  It  has  been  explained  as 
standing  for  the  proud  phrases,  "  Aquila  Electa  Juste  Omnia  Vin- 
cit,"  and  also,  "  Austriae  Est  Imperare  Orhi  Universo,"  "  Allcs 
Erdeich  1st  Oesterreich  Unterthan"  (All  the  earth  is  subject  to 
Austria),  and  yet  again,  ''Alter  EHren  1st  Oesterreich  Voll" 
(Austria  is  full  of  all  honor). 

The  reign  of  Frederick  was,  however,  not  free  from  trouble. 
Sigismund  of  Tyrol  and  Albert  VI.  of  Styria  disputed  with  him 
the  possession  of  all  or  part  of  the  Austrian  domains.  The  citizens 
of  Vienna  allied  themselves  with  his  enemies  and  besieged  him  in 
his  own  castle,  whence  he  was  only  freed  by  the  help  of  the  king  of 
Bohemia,  and  after  he  had  undertaken  to  give  up  Austria  to  Albert 
VI.,  in  return  for  a  yearly  sum  of  four  thousand  ducats.  He  did 
not  keep  his  engagements,  and  the  quarrel  broke  out  again,  where- 
upon Frederick,  as  emperor,  placed  Vienna  under  the  ban  of  the 
empire,  and  the  Pope  issued  an  interdict  against  it.  But  notwith- 
standing the  aid  of  the  Pontifical  legate  and  of  George  Podiebrad. 
this  struggle  went  on  till  the  death  of  Albert  VI..  in  1463.  The 
insurrection  in  Vienna  was  led  by  a  strange  personage,  the  cattle- 
merchant  Holzer,  who  claimed  to  treat  with  the  emperor  as  an 



equal  power.     Holzer  was  in  the  end  betrayed,  and  died  under 
frightful  tortures. 

Later  on  Frederick  saw  his  dominions  ravaged  by  the  Turks, 
who  invaded  Carinthia  and  Camiola,  and  penetrated  into  southern 
Styria,  in  1472,  1473,  ^^^  ^493-  These  new  enemies  proved,  with- 
out knowing  it,  the  best  allies  possible  for  the  house  of  Austria,  as 
it  was  mainly  owing  to  the  dread  of  their  invasions  that  the  Slavs 
and  Magyars  eventually  submitted  to  the  common  rule  of  an  heredi- 
tary monarchy. 





Chapter  X 



THE  dynasty  of  the  Premyslides  became  extinct  with  the 
assassination  of  Vacslav  IH.  at  Olmiitz,  and  Bohemia  has 
never  since  been  ruled  by  a  really  national  dynasty.  The 
house  of  Austria  at  once  took  measures  to  profit  by  the  situation. 
Albert  I.,  the  emperor,  treated  Bohemia  as  a  fief  of  the  empire,  or 
even  as  a  part  of  the  family  estates.  He  called  upon  the  nobles 
to  elect  his  oldest  son,  Rudolf,  and  enforced  his  demands  by  arms, 
so  that  the  Bohemian  nobility  was  compelled  to  elect  Rudolf,  in 
1307,  and  even  to  guarantee  the  succession  to  his  brothers  in  case 
he  died  without  issue.  The  emperor  further  conferred  upon  him 
and  his  brothers  an  investiture  which  made  an  election  useless  and 
set  at  naught  the  fundamental  right  of  the  nobles  to  dispose  of  the 
crown.  But  a  minority  of  them  refused  to  recognize  the  new  king. 
He  was  obliged  to  employ  force,  and  at  the  siege  of  Horazdovce 
in  1307,  he  was  killed.  The  estates  refused  to  proclaim  his  brother 
as  his  successor,  but  appealed  to  Henry,  duke  of  Carinthia  and 
count  of  Tyrol,  who  had  married  Anna,  the  daughter  of  Vacslav 
HI.  The  Emperor  Albert  again  entered  the  kingdom,  but  he  was 
forced  to  withdraw  after  the  unsuccessful  siege  of  Kuttenberg. 

Henry  of  Carinthia  did  not  long  remain  in  power.  He  proved 
incapable,  favored  the  Germans,  and  provoked  revolts.  The  house 
of  Luxemburg  had  just  attained  to  the  imperial  dignity  in  the  per- 
son of  Henry  of  Luxemburg,  and  the  nobles  of  Bohemia  offered 
the  crown  to  his  son,  John,  on  condition  that  he  would  marry  the 
Princess  Elizabeth,  the  last  of  King  Vacslav's  daughters.  The 
marriage  was  celebrated  at  Spire,  in  13 10,  and  the  emperor  sent 
the  royal  standard  of  Bohemia  to  John  as  a  token  of  investiture. 
The  opposition  of  Henry  of  Carinthia  was  easily  overcome,  and 
with  the  surrender  of  Prague  the  whole  of  the  kingdom  submitted 
to  John.  The  occupation  of  Bohemia  by  the  house  of  Luxemburg 
continued  for  127  years,  from  13 10  to  1437,  and  did  much  to  bind 
the  country  to  Germany.     During  it  the  German  element  was  al- 





ways  favored  and  enabled  to  secure  a  dangerous  preponderance  in 
the  political  life  of  the  state. 

King  John  remained  all  his  life  a  stranger  in  the  country  of  his 
adoption.  The  national  language  he  learned  only  against  his  will, 
and  looked  upon  Bohemia  as  a  country  to  be  exploited.  With  a 
passion  for  gallantry  and  adventure,  he  was  a  knight-errant  rather 
than  a  king,  and  was  attracted  in  turn  by  France  and  Germany, 
according  to  his  caprice.  In  spite  of  the  fact  that  he  was  only  four- 
teen years  old  at  his  accession,  he  began  his  reign  auspiciously.  Mo- 
ravia, which  the  house  of  Austria  had  detached  from  Bohemia, 
and  a  part  of  Lusatia  and  the  region  about  Gorlitz  were  annexed, 
and  the  suzerainty  of  Bohemia  over  a  large  part  of  Silesia  was 
secured.  Thus  the  kingdom  was  largely  increased  territorially,  but 
internally  it  was  disturbed  by  the  extravagance  of  the  king,  the  dis- 
putes in  the  royal  household,  and  favoritism  to  the  Germans. 
Abroad  John  interfered  in  all  that  was  going  on ;  it  was  regarded  a 
good  thing  to  be  counted  one  of  his  friends,  for  it  was  a  common 
saying  of  the  time  that  nothing  could  succeed  without  the  help  of 
God  and  the  king  of  Bohemia. 

The  number  of  his  expeditions  is  very  great.  He  helped  the 
king  of  Bavaria  in  his  struggle  against  the  Hapsburgs,  and  took 
Frederick,  duke  of  Austria,  prisoner  at  Miihldorf ;  tried  to  secure 
the  Tyrol  for  his  son;  took  up  the  cause  of  the  Lombard  cities 
against  Martin  della  Scala,  entered  Lombardy  and  subdued  the 
greater  part  of  northern  Italy.  But  this  raised  up  enemies  against 
him  on  all  sides.  All  the  potentates  of  central  Europe,  the  emperor, 
Louis  of  Bavaria,  the  princes  of  Austria,  and  the  kings  of  Hungary 
and  of  Poland  united  against  him. 

Although  often  successful,  all  these  wars  and  exploits  were 
worse  than  useless  to  Bohemia.  The  king  wasted  the  revenues  of 
the  crown,  and  mortgaged  its  estates :  of  all  the  royal  castles  that  of 
Prague  alone  was  not  mortgaged.  The  visits  of  the  sovereign  to 
Bohemia  were  always  attended  by  new  taxes,  new  loans,  and  a 
fresh  debasement  of  the  coinage.  The  royal  authority  fell  into 
discredit,  and  the  authority  of  his  lieutenants  disappeared.  They 
were  no  longer  obeyed,  and  the  reign  of  force — faustrecht — 
alone  prevailed.  The  king,  when  not  engaged  in  warfare,  wasted 
his  time  on  tournaments,  and  most  generally  lived  on  his  hereditary 
domain  of  Luxemburg,  or  else  at  the  court  of  Paris,  where  he 
lavishly  spent  the  money  extorted  from  his  subjects.     During  his 

HOUSE     OF     LUXEMBURG  116 


absence  the  country  was  administered  by  captains,  who  farmed  the 
crown  revenues. 

On  the  death,  in  1330,  of  Queen  Elizabeth,  who  never  ac- 
companied her  husband,  but  hved  in  a  solitude  worse  than  widow- 
hood, the  hereditary  prince,  Charles,  came  to  reside  in  Bohemia. 
He  had  been  raised  at  the  court  of  France,  where  he  had  learned 
economy  and  wise  administrative  methods.  He  did  his  utmost  to 
restore  order  in  the  finances,  and  succeeded  so  well  that  after  1333 
his  father  appointed  him  as  co-regent. 

Soon  after  this  war  broke  out  over  the  succession  in  Carinthia, 
in  which  King  John  opposed  the  emperor,  and  with  Pope  Clement 
VI.  was  so  far  successful  as  to  bring  about  the  election  by  five  of 
the  electors  of  his  son  Charles  as  emperor.  But  John  did  not  long 
survive  this  unexpected  triumph.  In  an  expedition  against  the 
pagans  of  Lithuania,  in  1337,  he  had  lost  one  eye,  and  two  years 
later,  through  unskillful  physicians,  he  lost  the  other  also.  But 
his  blindness  in  no  way  robbed  him  of  his  warlike  ardor.  On  hear- 
ing of  the  invasion  of  France  by  the  English  he  hastened  to  offer 
his  sword  to  his  relative,  Philip  of  Valois,  and  was  mortally 
wounded  at  the  battle  of  Crecy  in  1346. 

With  the  election  of  Charles  IV.,  known  in  Bohemia  as  Charles 
I.,  the  center  of  gravity  of  the  Holy  Roman  empire  shifted  to 
central  Europe,  where  it  thenceforth  remained,  first  in  Bohemia  and 
later  in  Austria.  German  historians  generally  have  been  hostile  in 
their  attitude  toward  Charles  IV. ;  those  of  Bohemia  on  the  other 
hand  are  enthusiastic  in  their  praises  of  him  and  call  him  the  father 
of  his  country.  His  father  had  left  behind  him  enormous  tasks,  and 
to  these  he  applied  himself  with  great  energy.  He  regulated  the 
revenues  of  the  crown,  freed  the  domains  from  mortgages,  reor- 
ganized justice,  suppressed  brigandage,  divided  the  kingdom  into 
twelve  circles,  and  revived  industry  and  commerce.  The  opening 
of  his  reign  was  marked  by  the  founding  of  the  University  of 
Prague,  in  1348.  According  to  the  custom  of  the  age  it  was  di- 
vided into  four  nations,  Czechs,  Poles,  Bavarians,  and  Saxons. 
Many  Germans  were  through  it  attracted  to  Prague,  where  they 
gradually  secured  a  dominant  influence,  especially  after  the  found- 
ing of  the  University  of  Cracow,  since  the  Polish  nation  was,  from 
that  time  on,  represented  at  the  University  of  Prague  by  the  Ger- 
mans of  Silesia.  Thus  the  Czechs  were  at  a  very  early  date  out- 
weighed by  foreigners. 



Through  its  university  Prague  became  the  intellectual  cen- 
ter, not  only  of  Bohemia,  but  also  of  Germany,  Hungary,  and 
Poland.  A  patron  of  the  liberal  arts,  Charles  IV.  embellished 
Prague  with  monuments  which  are  its  pride  even  to-day.  He 
caused  the  cathedral  of  St.  Vit  to  be  rebuilt  after  the  style  of  the 
Gothic  buildings  in  France,  constructed  the  famous  stone  bridge  at 
Prague,  perhaps  the  most  beautiful  in  Europe,  and  built  the  royal 
castle  of  Prague,  with  its  gilded  roofs,  after  the  model  of  the  old 
Louvre,  and  the  castle  of  Karlstein,  near  Beroun,  to  hold  the 
royal  insignia  and  the  crown  of  St.  Vacslav.  During  his  reign  the 
first  school  of  painting  known  to  the  Middle  Ages  flourished  in  Bo- 
hemia. A  number  of  works  of  this  school  are  still  extant.  Czech 
literature  flourished  and  produced  many  knightly  romances,  chron- 
icles, satirical  and  elegiac  poems,  and  even  attempts  at  drama. 
At  the  king's  request  the  diet  consented  to  the  abolition  of  trial 
by  ordeal,  the  recognition  of  the  right  of  the  peasant  to  summon  his 
lord  before  a  court  of  justice,  and  some  other  important  reforms. 
Important  improvements  were  also  made  in  the  administration  of 
justice,  the  relations  between  vassals  and  their  lords,  the  status 
of  the  bourgeoisie  of  the  towns.  To  these  was  often  granted  the 
right  of  managing  the  internal  affairs  of  the  town  independent  of 
the  diet.  The  inhabitants  of  the  Czech  towns  also  were  admitted 
to  privileges  which  had  up  to  that  time  been  granted  only  to 

He  induced  the  diet  to  establish  the  principal  of  primogeniture, 
which  had  been  customary  under  the  dynasty  of  the  Premyslides,  as 
the  law  of  succession  in  Bohemia,  and  thus  fix  the  succession  upon 
the  Luxemburg  dynasty.  Moravia,  Silesia,  Upper  Lusatia,  Bran- 
denburg, acquired  from  Otto,  and  the  county  of  Glatz  were  de- 
clared, by  the  consent  of  their  respective  diets,  integral  and  inalien- 
able possessions  of  the  crown  of  Bohemia.  The  see  of  Prague 
was  made  an  archbishopric,  thus  becoming  independent  of  the  for- 
eign diocese  of  Mainz.  At  the  same  time  a  monastery  was  estab- 
lished at  Prague  in  which  the  Slavonic  liturgy  was  regularly  used. 

It  is  well  known  how  Charles  IV.  fixed  the  public  law  of 
Germany  by  means  of  the  Golden  Bull  in  1346.  But  even  in  that 
famous  act  he  did  not  neglect  the  interests  of  his  kingdom  of 
Bohemia.  The  king  of  Bohemia  figures  as  one  of  the  seven  elec- 
tors, it  is  true,  but  the  document  states  that  Bohemia  is  in  nowise 
to  be  considered  as  a  fief  of  the  empire.    Its  king  could  be  elected 

HOUSE     OF     LUXEMBURG  117 


only  by  the  estates  of  the  country,  and  not  by  the  emperor.  His 
subjects  are  free  from  all  foreign  jurisdiction,  and  appeals  to  any 
foreign  authority  are  forbidden.  Of  interest  is  a  special  provision 
ordering  that  the  daughters  and  heirs  of  the  king  of  Bohemia  learn 
Latin,  Italian,  and  the  Slav  language  along  with  German,  their 
mother  tongue. 

In  1366  Charles  IV.  concluded  a  treaty  of  inheritance  with 
the  Hapsburgs,  by  which  it  was  agreed  that  whichever  house  sur- 
vived the  other  was  to  take  possession  of  both  Austria  and  Bo- 
hemia. In  order  to  secure  Bohemia  and  the  empire  to  his  family, 
he  caused  his  oldest  son,  Vacslav,  to  be  crowned  king  of  Bohemia 
as  early  as  1363,  and  in  1376  obtained  his  election  as  king  of  the 
Romans.  Before  his  death  he  divided  his  possessions  among  his 
four  sons,  giving  Bohemia,  Silesia,  the  domains  of  Bavaria,  Sax- 
ony, and  Germany  to  Vacslav,  the  eldest;  and  Brandenburg,  Gor- 
litz,  and  Moravia  to  the  others.  He  died  in  1378  on  the  eve  of  the 
great  religious  movement  which  was  destined  to  distract  Bohemia 
for  many  years. 

The  glory  of  the  reign  of  Charles  IV.  shines  the  more  brightly 
because  the  reigns  of  his  predecessor  and  his  successor  were  unfor- 
tunate. His  father  was  a  royal  adventurer,  and  his  son,  Vacslav 
IV.,  was  a  sluggard  and  a  drunkard.  The  latter  was  not  devoid  of 
all  good  qualities,  however,  and  his  accession  gave  rise  to  great 
hopes  in  Bohemia.  Unfortunately  he  was  of  too  vacillating  a  char- 
acter to  rule  well  during  a  critical  period,  when  the  old  institutions 
were  crumbling  and  the  thoughts  of  men  were  in  a  state  of  fermen- 
tation. His  reign  coincides  with  two  great  events  of  religious 
history — the  great  schism  in  the  church  and  the  reform  movement 
of  John  Huss. 

At  the  time  of  his  accession  Vacslav  was  only  seventeen  years 
old,  and  very  far  from  being  the  monster  he  is  represented  in 
legend.  His  education  had  been  sadly  neglected,  and  besides  his 
love  for  strong  drink  he  had  a  passion  for  the  chase  and  for  dogs. 
He  was  tactless  in  his  treatment  of  the  nobles  and  clergy,  and 
often  bestowed  offices  upon  simple  citizens,  and  even  servants  of 
his  household  and  stables.  Abroad  Bohemia  might  well  have 
played  an  important  part  during  his  reign  because  of  her  family 
alliances.  Vacslav's  brother,  Sigismund,  was  elected  king  of  Hun- 
gary in  1387;  his  sister  Anne  married  Richard  II.  of  England,  and 
he  himself  was  in  friendly  alliance  with  the  court  of  France.     But 



the  first  years  of  the  reign  were  unfortunate.  Vacslav  aroused  the 
clergy  by  his  violence  toward  the  foremost  of  the  ecclesiastics,  nota- 
bly toward  the  archbishop  of  Prague,  from  whom  he  demanded 
one  of  his  castles.  John  of  Pomuk,  whose  only  crime  was  that  he 
had  opposed  the  royal  will  in  an  ecclesiastical  matter,  he  caused  to 
be  tortured  and  thrown  into  the  Moldau,  an  incident  which  gave 
rise  to  a  famous  legend  in  the  seventeenth  century,  when  Bohemia 
had  been  crushed  and  the  Catholic  faith  restored.  According  to  it 
this  John  Pomuk — St.  John  Nepomucen — was  martyred  for  re- 
fusing to  betray  the  secrets  of  the  confessional,  and  an  unsuccessful 
attempt  was  made  to  substitute  his  name  for  that  of  John  Huss 
among  the  people. 

Many  of  the  nobles,  angered  by  his  violent  conduct,  and  by 
the  great  influence  Vacslav  allowed  the  foreign  favorites,  rose 
against  him.  They  claimed  to  unite  for  the  purpose  of  restoring  the 
constitution  of  the  land,  which  was  being  violated  by  the  king  and 
his  favorites,  but  in  reality  it  was  to  secure  the  maintenance  and 
augmentation  of  the  privileges  of  their  order.  They  had  secured 
the  alliance  of  the  king  of  Hungary  and  of  the  Margrave  Jost  of 
Moravia,  and  when  Vacslav  resisted  their  demands  he  was  made 
prisoner  and  forced  to  sign  what  amounted  to  an  act  of  abdication. 
But  John  of  Gorlitz,  the  king's  brother,  supported  by  the  lesser 
nobles  and  the  inhabitants  of  the  towns,  came  to  his  aid.  The  con- 
spirators were  forced  to  fly  into  Austria  with  their  royal  captive, 
where  they  kept  him  till  the  following  year.  In  the  interval  Jost 
was  really  regent,  and  the  king  of  Hungary  interfered  constantly 
in  the  affairs  of  the  kingdom.  Vacslav  returned  in  1396,  drove 
out  Jost,  and  resumed  the  government.  In  1398  he  went  to  France, 
where  he  had  an  interview  at  Rheims  with  Charles  VI.  in  regard 
to  the  great  schism  which  then  divided  Rome  and  Avignon.  On  his 
return  to  Germany  he  found  that  the  electors  had  been  aroused 
against  him  by  Pope  Benedict  IX.  In  1400  Rupert,  the  elector- 
palatine,  was  chosen  emperor  by  the  three  ecclesiastical  electors, 
and  he  at  once  declared  war  on  the  king  of  Bohemia.  German 
troops  penetrated  Bohemia  to  the  gates  of  Prague.  But  the  -city 
made  a  stout  resistance  and  saved  Bohemia  for  the  king.  As  a 
matter  of  fact  he  retained  only  the  title  of  king.  Incapable  of  gov- 
erning, he  was  obliged  to  seek  the  aid  of  his  brother,  Sigismund, 
king  of  Hungary.  By  him  he  was  kept  a  prisoner  in  the  palace  at 
Prague  with  the  margrave  of  Moravia,  Procopius.     Later  Sigis- 

HOUSE     OF     LUXEMBURG  119 


mund  carried  both  to  Vienna,  where  he  confided  them  to  the  keep- 
ing of  the  house  of  Austria.  But  Vacslav  escaped  and,  through 
the  aid  of  that  portion  of  the  Bohemians  who  had  refused  to  obey 
a  foreign  king,  again  entered  Prague  in  1402. 

These  family  feuds  and  the  indignities  suffered  by  the  crowned 
heads  must  have  singularly  diminished  the  respect  for  authority 
among  the  people.  At  the  same  time  the  scandal  to  the  whole  of 
Christendom  over  the  existence  of  two  Popes,  one  at  Rome,  the 
other  at  Avignon,  seriously  undermined  all  religious  authority. 
Corruption  had  sprung  up  among  sacerdotal  orders.  "  Among  the 
priests,"  says  Andrew  de  Cesky  Brod,  a  contemporary,  "  there  is 
no  discipline ;  among  the  bishops,  open  simony ;  among  the  monks, 
countless  disorders,  and  among  laymen,  there  is  no  abuse  which  has 
not  been  the  habit  of  the  clergy."  Besides  the  Czech  nation  was 
becoming  indignant  at  the  constantly  increasing  preponderance  the 
Germans  were  assuming  in  the  kingdom.  The  peasants  began  to 
find  the  yoke  of  serfdom  too  heavy,  especially  when  imposed  by 
foreign  masters.  Respect  for  the  crown  was  gone,  and  revolution 
became  inevitable.  It  came  in  the  world  of  religious  ideas  and 
teaching,  and  its  exponent  was  John  Huss. 

The  religious  movement  to  which  the  name  of  Huss  has  be- 
come attached  had  been  prepared  even  during  the  reign  of  Charles 
IV.,  by  the  eminent  preachers,  Conrad  Waldhauser  and  Milic  of 
Moravia.  Both  had  preached  the  reform  of  manners  and  of  the 
church,  Conrad  had  attacked  the  monks  and  the  practices  of 
the  age.  Among  other  things  he  said :  "  Give  to  the  poor  and  not 
to  the  monks.  They  are  well  off,  big  and  fat,  and  have  more  than 
they  need."  Milic  attacked  the  Pope  himself  and  his  cardinals. 
Both  were  accused  of  heresy.  Milic  had  to  go  to  Avignon  to  de- 
fend himself,  and  died  there  in  1374.  One  of  his  pupils,  Mathias 
of  Janov,  the  theologian,  also  endeavored  to  bring  back  the  clergy 
to  a  sense  of  their  duty.  He  denied  miracles  and  preached  the  cor- 
ruption of  the  church.  The  Pope  and  bishops  he  accused  of  having 
perverted  the  traditions  of  the  early  church  in  order  to  advance 
their  temporal  interests.  The  austere  morality  of  these  preachers 
is  found  even  in  the  writings  of  laymen  of  the  period.  Numerous 
fragments  of  the  Bible  had  been  translated  into  the  Czech,  and 
people  were  beginning  to  question  authority  in  religious  matters. 

On  the  other  hand  a  development  of  the  national  literature 
aroused  in  men's  minds  a  desire  to  be  free  from  the  supremacy 



which  the  Germans  had  usurped  throughout  the  country.  The 
towns  had  been  invaded  by  them,  and,  both  in  the  schools  and  in 
the  churches,  their  language  prevailed  over  that  of  the  native 
population,  even  ecclesiastical  positions  being  not  infrequently  in- 
trusted to  Germans  who  had  no  knowledge  of  the  ^eech  of  their 
flocks.  The  greatness  of  Huss  lies  in  the  fact  that  he  embodied  in 
himself  and  in  his  teachings  both  the  moral  and  national  tendencies 
of  his  time.  As  a  priest  he  preached  the  reform  of  the  church  and 
brought  the  Divine  Word  home  to  the  people  in  their  own  language ; 
as  a  patriot  he  strove  to  free  the  Bohemian  nation  from  the  intellec- 
tual oppression  of  the  German  minority.  Till  the  time  of  Luther  no 
other  reformer  exercised  so  powerful  an  influence  over  a  nation. 

John  Huss  was  born  in  1369  at  Husinec,  in  the  south  of  Bo- 
hemia. He  studied  at  the  University  of  Prague,  attained  the  de- 
grees of  Master  of  Arts  and  Bachelor  of  Theology,  and  held  a  pro- 
fessorship at  the  university.  As  a  student  of  theology  he  made  a 
deep  study  of  the  writings  of  Wiclif,  which  had  found  their  way  into 
Bohemia  through  the  intercourse  with  England  brought  about  by 
the  marriage  of  the  Bohemian  princess  with  Richard  H.  That  he 
was  greatly  influenced  by  Wiclif  is  easily  seen,  and  he  was  soon 
to  find  himself  in  violent  opposition  to  the  upper  clergy.  In  1402 
he  was  made  dean,  and  preacher  at  the  Bethlehem  chapel,  which  had 
been  founded  by  patriotic  gifts  and  where  the  sermons  were  in  the 
native  language.  Crowds  flocked  to  hear  him  and  his  sermons 
on  the  abuses  of  the  church  found  a  sympathetic  echo  in  the  hearts 
of  his  hearers. 

Unable  to  refute  the  charges  made  by  Huss,  his  adversaries 
accused  him  of  the  Wiclifite  heresies.  In  1403,  at  the  request  of 
the  chapter  of  Prague,  forty-five  propositions  taken  from  the  works 
of  Wiclif  were  condemned  by  the  University  of  Prague.  Huss 
and  his  followers  would  not  agree  to  the  decision,  maintaining  that 
the  errors  attributed  to  Wiclif  did  not  exist  in  his  writings,  but 
were  falsely  read  into  them.  At  their  suggestion  the  Bohemian 
nation  of  the  University  of  Prague  held  a  meeting  in  1408,  at 
which  they  discussed  the  forty-five  articles,  and,  notwithstanding 
the  previous  decision  of  the  four  nations,  declared  that  the  con- 
demned articles  need  not  be  interpreted  in  an  heretical  sense.  This 
declaration  was  considered  by  the  Archbishop  Zbynek  as  a  formal 
act  of  disobedience.  He  ordered  a  new  examination  of  all  known 
copies  of  Wiclif's  works,  and  a  short  time  after  he  had  a  large 

HOUSE     OF     LUXEMBURG  1«1 

1408- M09 

number  burned.  About  the  same  time  charges  were  brought  before 
the  archbishop  against  Huss  because  of  the  violence  of  his 

In  the  meantime  a  general  council  assembled  at  Pisa  to  put  an 
end  to  the  great  schism  in  the  Holy  See.  The  cardinals  most  active 
in  bringing  about  the  council  planned  not  only  to  restore  the  unity 
of  the  church,  but  also  to  introduce  reforms  "  as  to  its  head  and 
members."  King  Vacslav,  in  obedience  to  the  decision  of  the  coun- 
cil, called  upon  the  clergy  of  his  kingdom  to  render  obedience  to 
the  Pope  at  Rome,  Gregory  XH.  But  the  Archbishop  Zbynek, 
together  with  the  higher  clergy,  refused  to  obey.  Vacslav  con- 
sulted the  university  on  this  grave  question.  It  divided,  only  the 
Bohemian  nation,  in  which  Huss  and  his  friends  were  in  the  major- 
ity, declaring  in  favor  of  the  king  and  the  cardinals.  Thus  the 
archheretic  Huss  took  his  stand  on  the  side  of  the  Roman  church, 
while  its  representative,  the  archbishop,  declared  against  it.  His 
opposition  to  the  higher  clergy  in  this  matter  had  the  effect  also  of 
strengthening  his  cause  at  court,  for  Vacslav  had  never  been  on 
good  terms  with  the  higher  clergy  of  his  realm,  and  most  of  his 
favorites,  from  motives  of  self-interest,  looked  with  favor  on  the 
proposed  reforms.  For  the  reformers  declared  that  it  would  be 
necessary  to  deprive  the  church  of  the  greater  part  of  its  possessions 
in  order  to  bring  the  clergy  back  to  the  purity  of  primitive  times. 
But  these  possessions  once  secularized,  the  king  could  divide  them 
among  his  favorites. 

Huss  seized  this  favorable  moment  to  procure  for  the  Czech 
nationality  the  place  which  belonged  to  it  by  right  in  the  university. 
He  represented  to  the  king  the  injustice  of  granting  to  foreigners 
an  overwhelming  preponderance  over  the  natives — a  preponderance 
that  manifested  itself,  not  only  in  decisions  on  matters  of  doctrine, 
but  also  in  the  distribution  of  offices  and  appointments.  "  The 
Czechs,"  said  he,  "  ought  to  be  first  in  the  kingdom  of  Bohemia, 
as  Frenchmen  are  in  France  and  Germans  in  Germany.  The  laws 
of  the  land,  the  divine  will,  and  natural  instinct  demand  that  they 
should  hold  the  first  offices."  In  conformity  with  these  ideas  the 
king  decreed  that  henceforth,  in  all  deliberations  and  elections  in 
the  university,  the  Bohemian  nation  should  have  three  votes  and 
the  foreigners  only  one.  As  a  result  the  German  professors  and 
students  left  Prague  in  a  body  in  1409,  and  proceeded  to  found 
the  University  of  Leipsic. 



This  energetic  measure  on  the  part  of  the  king  made  obedience 
to  the  decrees  of  the  Council  of  Pisa  easier,  and  the  council,  out  of 
gratitude,  recognized  Vacslav  as  king  of  the  Romans.  But  this 
proved  an  illusory  compliment,  for  the  electors  paid  no  regard  to 
it,  and,  in  1410,  elected  Sigismund  of  Hungary.  At  the  same  time, 
Archbishop  Zbynek,  by  no  means  crushed  by  the  triumph  of  Huss, 
who  was  now  rector  of  the  university,  placed  the  reformer  and  the 
city  of  Prague  under  an  interdict.  Huss  appealed  to  the  Holy  See, 
and  the  Pope  suspended  the  interdict  in  order  to  give  him  time 
to  vindicate  himself.  Zbynek,  fearing  the  anger  of  Vacslav,  fled 
to  Hungary  and  died  on  the  way. 

The  Council  of  Pisa,  in  order  to  end  the  schism,  had  set  aside 
both  the  Pope  at  Rome  and  the  Pope  at  Avignon,  and  chosen  a  new 
Pontiff,  Alexander  V.  Thus  for  a  time  there  were  three  Popes. 
Alexander  V.  was  to  be  the  restorer  of  the  church,  but  he  lived  only 
a  short  time,  and  his  successor,  John  XXHL,  possessed  none  of 
the  qualities  and  virtues  of  a  reforming  Pope.  Huss,  on  the  other 
hand,  continued  preaching  with  more  ardor  than  ever,  and  despair- 
ing of  reforming  the  whole  church,  he  directed  all  his  efforts  toward 
the  church  of  Bohemia.  Notwithstanding  the  prohibition,  both  by 
the  bishop  and  by  the  Pope,  against  preaching  in  the  Bethlehem 
chapel,  Huss  continued  to  do  so,  and  developing  the  teachings  of 
Wiclif,  he  denied  the  authority  commonly  attributed  to  the  Pope 
as  head  of  the  visible  church.  The  papacy,  moreover,  just  at  this 
time,  furnished  him  with  weapons  against  itself.  In  141 2  John 
XXIIL,  attacked  by  the  king  of  Naples,  who  had  espoused  the 
cause  of  his  deposed  predecessor,  Gregory  XII.,  ordered  a  crusade 
to  be  preached  for  the  defense  of  the  Holy  See.  Full  indulgence 
was  promised  to  all  believers  who  aided  with  prayers  or  arms  or 
money.  Huss  and  his  followers  denounced  this  as  traffic  in 
spiritual  favors,  both  in  public  disputations  and  in  their  preaching. 
The  excited  populace  gave  itself  over  to  excesses  against  the  upper 
clergy,  and  the  preachers  of  indulgences  were  interrupted  in  the 
churches  by  questions  from  their  auditors.  Three  of  the  disturbers 
were  seized  and  beheaded  by  the  councilors  of  the  old  town,  but  the 
people,  far  from  being  intimidated  by  this  severe  measure,  secured 
the  bodies  and  interred  them,  as  those  of  martyrs,  in  the  Bethlehem 
chapel.  The  Pope  then  pronounced  an  anathema  against  Huss, 
and  placed  every  town  in  which  he  might  live  under  the  interdict. 
The  frightened  king  besought  Huss  to  leave  Prague.     Welcomed 

HOUSE     OF     LUXEMBURG  123 


in  the  castles  of  the  national  nobility,  the  master  found  a  docile 
and  enthusiastic  audience  among  the  country  people.  From  his 
seclusion  he  published  controversial  works,  which  were  read  with 
all  the  more  avidity,  not  merely  because  Huss  was  a  true  reformer 
and  a  defender  of  the  national  cause,  but  also  because  in  his  native 
tongue  Huss  was  a  writer  of  much  clearness  and  force.  King 
Vacslav  saw  with  dismay  the  spread  of  the  new  doctrines  in  his 
kingdom,  which  the  Holy  See  now  designated  as  a  hotbed  of 
heresy.  He  did  his  utmost  to  quiet  Huss  and  to  reconcile  him  with 
Albic,  the  new  archbishop  of  Prague. 

But  in  the  meantime  the  sale  of  indulgences  had  not  procured 
the  wished-for  assistance  for  the  Pope.  Driven  from  Rome  by  the 
king  of  Naples,  he  was  forced  to  fly  to  Bologna,  and  in  this  extrem- 
ity he  took  refuge  in  the  idea  of  a  general  council,  which  should 
come  to  the  aid  of  the  ills  of  the  church  and  the  misfortunes  of  the 
Holy  See.  In  an  interview  at  Lodi  with  the  Emperor  Sigismund 
it  was  decided  to  call  a  general  council  to  meet  at  Constance. 
Vacslav  believed  that  he  saw  in  the  council  the  only  means  of  put- 
ting an  end  to  the  religious  disturbances  of  Bohemia,  which  so  seri- 
ously embarrassed  his  vacillating  mind.  The  emperor  asked  Huss 
to  appear  at  Constance,  under  an  imperial  safe-conduct,  in  order  to 
defend  his  teaching.  The  master — so  Huss  was  called  by  his  coun- 
trymen— was  not  the  man  to  recoil  before  this  injunction;  he  be- 
lieved himself  sufficiently  sure  of  the  truth  to  convince  his  adver- 
saries, and  his  enthusiasm  made  him  ready  to  defend  it  to  the  death. 
He  went  to  Constance  accompanied  by  an  escort  of  Bohemian 
knights  granted  him  by  King  Vacslav;  he  expected  to  enter  the 
lists  with  the  chance  to  fight  with  equal  weapons,  and  relied  im- 
plicitly on  the  emperor's  promise  of  safe-conduct.  But  the  council 
paid  no  heed  to  it,  regarding  it  rather  as  an  illegal  encroachment 
of  the  temporal  upon  the  spiritual  power. 

Shortly  after  his  arrival  Huss  was  thrown  into  prison  to  be 
judged  as  a  heretic  and  disturber  of  church  discipline,  and  the 
Emperor  Sigismund  made  only  a  feeble  protest.  The  trial  was 
at  first  conducted  in  secret,  though  later  Huss  was  admitted  to 
defend  himself  before  the  council.  Many  of  the  accusations  against 
him  were  false.  But  in  his  defense  Huss,  while  not  breaking 
openly  with  Catholicism,  nevertheless  defended  doctrines  which  in- 
volved the  rejection  of  the  Papal  authority  and  placed  that  of  the 
Scriptures  above  that  of  the  church.     Beyond  this  the  council  re- 



fused  to  hear  him,  and  called  on  him  to  make  a  full  recantation. 
This  he  would  not  do,  and  in  the  session  of  July  6,  141 5, 
he  was  declared  a  heretic  and  delivered  over  to  the  secular  author- 
ity. By  it  he  was  condemned  to  be  burned  alive  and  his  ashes  to 
be  cast  in  the  Rhine.  He  walked  to  the  stake  with  heroic  courage 
and  died  the  martyr's  death.  One  year  later  the  council  also  caused 
Jerome  of  Prague,  one  of  Huss's  most  faithful  adherents,  whose 
fiery  eloquence  had  spread  the  master's  doctrines  even  in  Poland 
and  Lithuania,  to  be  burned. 

Huss  is  frequently  known  to  foreigners  only  as  a  famous 
heretic,  admired  by  some,  hated  by  others,  according  to  the  particu- 
lar religious  opinions  they  hold.  Slavic  peoples,  especially  Bo- 
hemians, honor  him  as  a  writer  of  genius,  a  purifier  of  their  lan- 
guage, and  an  intrepid  champion  of  their  nationality.  Huss  has 
much  in  common  with  Luther ;  what  the  latter  did  for  the  German 
language  the  former  did  a  century  earlier  for  the  Bohemian.  Not 
satisfied  with  making  his  works  models  of  excellent  style,  he  en- 
deavored to  fix  the  national  orthography,  took  great  pains  to  adapt 
the  Latin  alphabet  to  the  soft  and  sibilant  sounds  of  the  Slav 
tongue,  and  banished  Germanisms  from  the  language  as  he  had 
banished  Germans  from  the  university.  "  For,"  he  writes,  "  as 
Nehemiah  chastised  the  Jewish  children  for  speaking  the  jargon 
of  Ashdod  and  being  ignorant  of  Hebrew,  so  ought  all  men  of 
Prague  be  chastised,  and  all  other  Czechs  whose  language  is  half 
German,  half  Czech.  We  hear  them,  but  we  verily  do  not  under- 
stand them."  His  religious  and  controversial  works,  as  well  as  his 
letters  written  from  Constance,  are  considered  models  of  style  to 
the  present  day.  As  a  poet,  he  wrote  a  number  of  hymns  and  him- 
self set  them  to  music,  introducing,  so  the  critics  say,  some  excel- 
lent innovations  in  religious  music. 

But  that  which  most  impressed  his  compatriots  was  not  the 
genius  of  the  master,  but  rather  the  purity  of  his  life,  the  sweetness 
of  his  character,  and  the  heroism  of  his  martyrdom.  The  council 
desired  to  efface  all  trace  of  him  from  the  earth.  They  burned  his 
clothing  and  scattered  his  ashes  on  the  Rhine.  They  believed  they 
had  driven  out  the  spirit  of  reform  and  subdued  Bohemia.  But  at 
the  fires  of  the  stake  at  which  Huss  perished  a  conflagration  was 
lit  which  desolated  both  Bohemia  and  Germany  and  was  only 
extinguished  in  the  blood  of  countless  victims. 

M      OS      S 
-       ^      ^ 

Chapter  XI 


THE  absence  of  John  Huss  did  not  calm  the  reHgious  ex- 
citement in  Bohemia.  His  disciples  pushed  his  doctrines 
to  extremes  which  their  master  had  not  foreseen.  Huss 
had  refused  obedience  to  the  visible  church  and  proclaimed  the 
right  of  appeal  to  the  Holy  Scriptures  only  when  the  church  ap- 
peared to  him  in  contradiction  with  the  Divine  Word.  He  was  not 
one  of  those  who  sought  to  remake  the  dogmas  and  rites  according 
to  their  own  fancy.  But  the  religious  imagination  of  the  Middle 
Ages  when  once  thoroughly  aroused  would  not  stop  halfway.  Dog- 
mas without  practical  consequences  and  without  moral  application, 
born  in  the  brain  of  some  dreamer,  would  suffice  to  excite  the 
passion  of  the  masses  whose  deepest  interest  in  life  was  their  re- 
ligion. One  of  the  disciples  of  John  Huss,  Jakoubek  Steibrsky, 
or  De  Stribro,  began  to  teach  that  communion  ought  to  be  given  to 
the  people  as  well  as  to  the  priest  in  both  forms,  and  not  in  bread 
only.  This  teaching  was  enthusiastically  received  in  all  the  parishes 
where  Huss  had  adherents.  The  cup  became  the  symbol  of  his 
disciples,  and  was  to  be  found  on  the  church  steeples  and  in  all 
public  buildings.     An  epigram  of  the  time  says : 

Tot  pingit  calices  Boemorum  turba  per  urhes, 
Ut  credos  Bacchi  numina  sola  coli. 

The  Council  of  Constance  hastened  to  condemn  the  innova- 
tions of  the  Utraquists,  or  Cahxtins,  as  they  were  called.  But  the 
sentence  against  Huss  by  this  same  body  was  not  likely  to  inspire 
obedience  to  the  decree  against  his  disciples.  The  news  of  the  mar- 
tyrdom of  the  master,  as  told  by  his  faithful  friend,  Peter  of  Mla- 
denovic,  aroused  the  most  violent  anger  in  Prague.  The  ex- 
cited masses  attacked  the  orthodox  priests,  whom  they  accused  of 
complicity  in  the  judicial  murder  of  Huss;  some  were  robbed, 
others  driven  from  their  homes,  and  a  few  murdered.  An  earth- 
quake and  an  eclipse  of  the  sun  which  occurred  in   141 5  were 




regarded  by  the  people  as  a  proof  of  the  interest  of  Heaven  in  the 
innocent  martyr.  In  the  rural  districts  the  lords  and  knights  who 
were  patrons  of  livings  drove  out  the  priests  whom  they  disliked 
and  replaced  them  with  others,  regardless  of  the  authority  of 
bishops  or  archbishops,  though  not  always  from  religious  zeal 
alone;  many  lords  despoiled  the  clergy  simply  in  order  to  secure 
the  benefices  for  themselves. 

In  a  large  assembly  held  at  Prague,  at  which  452  lords  and 
knights  of  Bohemia  and  Moravia  were  present,  a  letter,  declaring 
the  execution  of  Huss  to  be  an  affront  to  the  whole  Bohemian 
nobility,  was  drawn  up  and  addressed  to  the  Council  of  Constance. 
They  also  organized  a  league  which  refused  obedience  to  foreign 
priests,  and  recognized  only  the  bishops  of  the  national  church, 
provided  always  that  their  doctrines  conformed  to  the  Scriptures. 
They  even  made  reservations  concerning  their  obedience  to  the 
Pope  which  the  council  was  about  to  elect,  announcing  that  they 
would  accept  none  but  the  council  of  professors  of  the  university 
as  authority  in  matters  of  faith.  A  strong  minority  of  the  nation, 
however,  composed  largely  of  Grermans,  whether  from  conviction 
or  interest,  remained  faithful  to  the  traditions  of  the  Roman  Cath- 
olic Church.  The  rivalry  between  the  two  races  was,  therefore, 
further  intensified  by  religious  differences. 

The  council  took  energetic  measures.  Stribro  and  the  signers 
of  the  protest  were  cited  to  appear  before  it,  and  the  University 
of  Prague,  the  center  of  heresy,  was  ordered  to  be  closed  and  de- 
prived of  all  the  privileges  conferred  upon  it  by  the  Pope.  Vac- 
slav.  Queen  Sophia,  and  the  new  archbishop  of  Prague,  Conrad, 
were  warned  of  ecclesiastical  penalties  unless  they  openly  dis- 
avowed the  new  heresies.  But  slight  attention  was  given  to  the 
warnings.  The  report  of  the  death  of  Jerome  of  Prague  raised  the 
public  excitement  and  anger  to  its  height.  The  university,  far  from 
submitting  to  the  orders  of  the  council,  erected  itself  into  a  court 
with  jurisdiction  in  matters  of  doctrine.  Communion  in  both  kinds 
was  declared  indispensable  to  salvation,  and  Huss  was  proclaimed 
a  saint  and  martyr. 

But  it  was  not  long  before  dissension,  that  plague  of  all  in- 
dependent sects,  made  its  appearance  among  the  Hussites  them- 
selves. The  masters  at  the  university  had  declared  that  nothing 
should  be  allowed  that  would  be  contrary  to  the  Scriptures.  But 
the  Scriptures  are  not  always  clear.    Thus  it  came  about  that  sec- 

THE     HUSSITE     WARS  127 


tarians  arose  who  rejected  all  the  sacraments  except  baptism  and 
the  Lord's  Supper,  denying  the  authority  for  the  mass,  worship  of 
the  saints,  the  doctrine  of  purgatory,  fasts,  and  the  ecclesiastical 

The  new  doctrines  spread  most  widely  in  the  rural  districts. 
The  little  town  of  Ousti,  not  far  from  the  site  of  the  later  town  of 
Tabor,  became  the  center  for  the  new  religionists.  When  the 
University  of  Prague  declared  its  independence  of  the  council  it 
did  not  intend  to  separate  from  the  church  permanently.  It  now 
assumed  the  role  of  an  orthodox  body  toward  the  innovators  of 
Ousti,  who  had  set  up  a  new  confession,  and  pronounced  them 
heretics.  But  these  refused  to  obey  its  decisions.  Hussism  became 
unfaithful  to  its  principles,  for  instead  of  directing  its  efforts  to 
bringing  about  the  reform  of  the  church,  its  followers  lost  them- 
selves in  the  boundless  wastes  of  theories  and  dogma.  Even  in  the 
first  period  of  its  enthusiasm  constant  disputes  and  quarrels  over 
points  of  doctrine  and  dogma  occurred  among  the  Hussites  them- 

The  Council  of  Constance  broke  up  in  141 8  without  having 
succeeded  in  reestablishing  the  authority  of  the  church  in  Bohemia. 
Nor  was  Pope  Martin  V.,  who  fell  heir  to  this  difficult  task,  more 
successful.  King  Vacslav,  at  his  request,  tried  to  reinstate  the 
priests  who  had  been  driven  from  their  parishes,  but  the  people  rose 
against  the  restored  pastors.  Rather  than  enter  the  churches  of  the 
intruders,  the  peasants,  under  the  guidance  of  their  pastor,  would 
assemble  in  the  open  country,  usually  in  the  mountains.  To  these 
they  gave  Biblical  names,  as,  for  example,  Mt.  Tabor,  near  Ousti, 
on  the  Elbe.  This  mountain  became  the  home  of  the  most  ardent 
preachers  of  the  new  sect.  A  new  confession  of  faith  was  drawn 
up  which  aimed  at  the  restoration  of  primitive  Christianity,  and 
maintained  the  principle  of  community  of  goods.  Its  adherents 
called  each  other  brother  and  sister,  rejected  priestly  garb  and 
ritualistic  forms  of  worship,  and  worshiped  in  the  popular  language. 
These  communities  who  thus  separated  themselves  from  the  gen- 
eral faith  and  from  the  ordinary  habits  of  life  awaited  only  daring 
leaders  to  resist  not  only  the  church,  but  also  the  secular  power 
if  it  tried  to  disperse  them.  These  soon  appeared  in  the  persons 
of  Nicholas  Huss,  at  Tabor,  and  the  old  chevalier,  John  Zizka  of 
Trocnov,  at  Prague.  The  latter  had  acquired  a  knowledge  of  mili- 
tary matters  and  a  hatred  of  the  Germans  while  fighting  with  the 



Poles  against  the  Teutonic  order.  Intense  religious  zeal  made  of 
them  and  their  followers,  though  untrained,  the  most  terrible  war- 
riors known  to  Europe  in  the  Middle  Ages. 

The  struggle  began  at  Prague.  In  renewing  the  municipal 
council  of  Prague,  Vacslav  appointed  a  number  of  knights  hostile 
to  the  Hussites.  This  aroused  the  people,  and  led  by  the  priest, 
John  of  Zeliv,  and  Zizka,  they  invaded  the  city  hall,  seized  the 
newly  appointed  councilors,  and  hurled  them  through  the  windows 
upon  the  pikes  and  lances  below.  The  king,  amazed  at  this  popular 
violence,  yielded  and  appointed  magistrates  favorable  to  the  people. 
But  he  died  shortly  afterward.  King  of  Bohemia  at  the  age  of  three, 
king  of  the  Romans  at  fifteen,  and  successor  to  his  father  at  seven- 
teen, Vacslav  had,  from  the  day  of  his  majority,  enjoyed  all  human 
advantages.  But  he  was  not  equal  to  the  burdens.  Kept  a  prisoner 
by  his  nobles  and  his  brother  Sigismund,  vacillating  between  the 
Holy  See  and  the  Hussites,  he  continued  throughout  the  plaything 
of  his  passions,  of  men  and  of  circumstances,  without  ever  being 
able  to  dominate  them.  His  reign  marks  the  beginning  of  the  politi- 
cal decadence  of  Bohemia.  But  the  Czech  nation  had  arrived  at  a 
point  in  its  history  when  peoples  are  of  greater  importance  than 
monarchsj  and  notwithstanding  the  excesses  inseparable  from  an 
age  still  half-barbarous,  we  shall  see  Bohemia  accomplishing  great 
things  and  handing  down  to  posterity  a  glorious  heritage. 

The  death  of  Vacslav  unchained  all  the  passions  which  respect 
for  royalty  had  until  then  held  in  check.  Churches  and  monasteries 
were  given  over  to  pillage.  Catholic  priests  driven  out  and  replaced 
by  Hussites.  The  archbishop  and  the  chapter  of  the  cathedral  fled, 
and  many  of  the  rich  middle  class,  especially  the  Germans,  followed 
their  example.  Because  of  the  dispositions  made  by  Charles  IV., 
the  successor  of  Vacslav  was  the  Emperor  Sigismund,  who  had 
so  perfidiously  betrayed  his  promise  of  safe-conduct  to  Huss.  The 
estates  of  Bohemia  sent  ambassadors  to  him  asking  him  to  come 
to  Prague.  They  demanded  the  right  to  communion  in  both  kinds, 
which,  if  he  acquiesced,  meant  that  he  would  be  obliged,  at  the 
very  outset  of  his  reign,  to  place  himself  in  opposition  to  the  council 
and  the  Pope.  The  king  gave  an  evasive  answer,  and  charged  the 
queen-dowager  Sophia  to  carry  on  the  government  in  Bohemia  till 
his  arrival.  The  regent  attempted  to  disperse  a  number  of  meet- 
ings and  received  the  support  of  the  nobility,  who  were  beginning 
to  take  umbrage  at  these  popular  gatherings  held  under  the  pretext 

THE     HUSSITE     WARS  129 


of  religion.  But  Zizka  and  Nicholas  Huss  stirred  up  the  people  of 
Prague;  they  attempted  to  take  the  royal  castle  by  assault,  burned 
a  part  of  the  city,  and  forced  the  regent  to  permit  the  popular  gath- 
erings, and  communion  in  both  kinds.  At  the  news  of  these  ex- 
cesses Sigismund  promptly  decided  to  come  to  Prague  himself. 
After  receiving  the  homage  of  the  estates  of  Silesia  and  Moravia, 
he  called  on  the  Pope  to  preach  a  crusade  against  Hussites,  and 
prepared  to  enter  Bohemia. 

These  developments  greatly  encouraged  the  Catholics  and 
Germans  in  Bohemia.  The  Germans  of  Kuttenberg  began  to  per- 
secute all  the  heterodox  of  the  place,  seized  four  hundred  and  threw 
them  into  the  mines.  A  cry  of  horror  arose  throughout  the  entire 
kingdom.  Zizka  hastened  to  Mt.  Tabor,  organized  the  brothers 
gathered  on  that  mountain  for  military  purposes,  and  made  out  of 
the  place  a  fortified  town  which  became  the  strongest  citadel  of  the 
Hussites.  .  The  improvised  army  on  Mt.  Tabor  needed  special 
tactics  and  new  weapons;  it  could  not  drag  about  with  it  the 
equipment  of  the  knights  of  the  Middle  Ages.  The  flail  weighted 
with  iron,  the  heavy  hammer  of  the  blacksmith,  were  their  arms, 
and  clumsy  wagons  furnished  a  cover  to  the  combatants  and  a 
refuge  for  the  wounded,  while  an  inflexible  discipline  secured  unity 
of  action.  Even  the  Utraquists  of  Prague,  when  they  saw  the 
emperor  take  the  cross  at  Breslau,  prepared  to  defend  their  faith. 
Cenek  of  Wartenburg,  the  burggrave  of  Prague,  issued  a  proclama- 
tion to  the  Bohemian  nation  urging  them  to  arm  against  the 
common  enemy. 

In  the  spring  of  1420  Sigismund,  at  the  head  of  an  army,  in- 
vaded Bohemia  by  way  of  Kralove-Hradec  and  Kuttenberg,  and 
pushed  on  to  the  outskirts  of  Prague  itself,  where  he  had  himself 
crowned.  He  then  laid  siege  to  the  city,  but  John  Zizka,  at  the 
head  of  the  Taborites,  marched  upon  Prague  to  relieve  the  city. 
He  occupied  Mt.  Vitkov,  near  Prague,  which  has  ever  since  borne 
his  name,  Zizkaberg,  repulsed  all  the  assaults  of  the  crusading 
imperial  army,  numbering  nearly  one  hundred  thousand,  and 
ultimately  forced  it  to  raise  the  siege. 

But  the  emperor's  position  in  Bohemia  was  still  very  for- 
midable. He  held  nearly  all  the  royal  cities  and  towns,  and  even 
had  possession  of  the  royal  castle  of  Vysehrad,  which  commands 
Prague  on  the  right  bank  of  the  Moldau.  His  army  was  made  up 
of  Bohemian  Catholics  and  even  some  of  the  Utraquist  nobility. 



But  his  treasure  was  exhausted,  and  in  order  to  meet  the  expenses  of 
the  war  he  was  forced  to  pledge  a  part  of  the  property  of  the 
clergy.  In  the  meantime  the  people  of  Prague  in  their  turn  as- 
sumed the  aggressive  and  besieged  the  castle  of  Vysehrad.  Sigis- 
mund  tried  in  vain  to  relieve  it.  He  was  beaten  back  and  forced 
to  abandon  it.  Shortly  afterward  conditions  in  Hungary  de- 
manded the  emperor's  presence,  and  he  had  to  leave  Bohemia,  after 
having  organized  a  provisional  government. 

The  withdrawal  of  the  king  greatly  increased  the  courage  of 
the  insurgents,  who  felt  that  they  had  the  secret  sympathy  of  the 
majority  of  the  nation.  The  commune  of  Prague  issued  a  decree 
of  banishment  and  confiscation  against  all  those  who  had  joined  the 
king  or  who  refused  to  recognize  communion  in  both  kinds.  A 
portion  of  the  property  of  the  Catholic  clergy  was  also  confiscated. 
In  this  way  the  preponderance  of  the  German  element  in  Prague 
was  weakened,  and  those  that  remained  were  converted  to  the  doc- 
trines of  the  Hussites.  The  people  of  Prague,  in  league  with  Zizka 
and  the  Taborites,  now  undertook  to  reconquer  the  country,  and 
after  several  months  all  of  the  cities  except  Pilsen  and  Budweis 
were  occupied,  though  some  of  them  not  till  after  an  energetic  re- 
sistance. The  castle  of  Prague  itself  finally  succumbed.  The  Ger- 
mans generally  left  the  cities  after  they  were  reconquered  by  the 
Czechs,  and  have  never  since  regained  the  preponderance  then  lost. 
Many  churches,  monasteries,  and  religious  buildings  were  de- 
stroyed or  damaged  during  the  struggle.  The  Taborites  showed 
no  mercy,  but  radical  measures  were  necessary.  The  Utraquist 
nobility,  astounded  by  these  triumphs,  ended  by  abandoning  the 
party  of  the  king  and  ranging  themselves  on  the  side  of  the  people. 
The  archbishop  of  Prague  himself  made  terms  with  them,  conse- 
crated their  priests,  and  placed  a  part  of  the  ecclesiastical  benefices 
at  their  disposal. 

The  Hussites  had  triumphed.  They  met  at  Prague  to  adopt 
their  creed  and  settle  upon  a  constitution  for  the  kingdom.  This 
creed  had  been  formulated  by  the  masters  of  the  University  of 
Prague,  and  had  always  appeared  at  the  head  of  the  proclamations 
of  Zizka.  It  contained  four  articles:  demanding  communion  in 
both  kinds,  free  preaching  of  the  Divine  Word,  the  secularization 
of  church  property,  and  the  punishment  by  temporal  penalties  of 
mortal  sins  and  offenses  against  the  church,  whether  committed  by 
laymen  or  ecclesiastics.     A  solemn  embassy  was  sent  to  Vladislav 



of  Poland  to  offer  him  the  crown,  and  while  waiting  his  acceptance 
the  country  was  to  be  governed  by  a  committee  of  twenty  persons, 
consisting  one-half  of  representatives  from  the  estates,  the  other 
of  representatives  of  the  cities  and  the  Taborites.  These  measures 
were  completed  by  the  acts  of  a  synod  which  met  at  Prague  under 
the  direction  of  the  university,  and  which  occupied  itself  particu- 
larly with  the  reform  of  ecclesiastical  discipline.  It  imposed  four 
councilors  upon  the  Archbishop  Conrad,  who  with  him  were  in- 
trusted to  maintain  this  discipline. 

But  the  Czechs  were  still  far  from  being  united.  The  Tabor- 
ites expected  to  have  their  own  church  and  had  already  chosen  a 
bishop  (1420)  to  consecrate  their  priests,  thus  separating  them- 
selves from  the  Bohemian  church.  The  Pope,  moreover,  had  in- 
terdicted the  archbishop  of  Prague  and  declared  his  diocese  vacant. 
The  Czech  nobility  counted  on  the  support  of  Vladislav  of  Poland, 
because  a  part  of  the  Polish  nobility  also  had  adhered  to  the  Hussite 
doctrines,  while  an  accession  of  territory  to  Poland  at  this  time 
would  have  been  very  advantageous  because  of  the  king's  dispute 
with  Sigismund  over  Galicia.  But  the  Polish  clergy  feared  that  the 
personal  union  of  Bohemia  and  Poland  would  hasten  still  more  the 
progress  of  Hussite  heresies  in  the  kingdom.  The  representations 
of  Martin  V.  led  the  king  to  decline  the  proffered  crown.  The 
Czechs  then  offered  it  to  Prince  Vitold,  grand  duke  of  Lithuania. 
They  realized  how  disastrous  to  their  interests  the  German  dynas- 
ties had  been,  and  sought  to  bring  about  a  closer  union  with  their 
Slav  kinsmen. 

The  danger  was  great,  for  Sigismund,  together  with  the  Ger- 
man princes,  was  preparing  a  new  crusade  against  them.  But  the 
Germans  entered  Bohemia  before  Sigismund  was  ready  to  co- 
operate with  them.  Their  army  numbered  200,000  and  counted 
five  electors  among  its  leaders.  They  laid  siege  to  the  town  of 
Saatz,  which  made  a  vigorous  defense.  The  crusaders  revenged 
themselves  by  ravaging  the  country  and  massacring  the  peasants; 
all  who  could  not  speak  German  were  put  to  death.  Zizka  hastened 
to  the  relief  at  the  head  of  his  Taborites  and  the  men  of  Prague. 
The  intrepid  leader  had  been  blind  in  one  eye  for  many  years,  and 
had  lately  lost  the  remaining  eye  at  the  siege  of  the  Chateau  of 
Rabi.  But  his  blindness  did  not  lessen  his  military  skill.  His  very 
name  carried  terror  with  it.  The  Germans  raised  the  siege  and 
retired.     Sigismund,  detained  by  the  Turks  on  the  Danube,  finally 



arrived  with  an  army  of  80,000,  under  the  command  of  the  famous 
condottiere,  Pipa  the  Florentine.  Against  this  force  Moravia  made 
no  resistance;  less  fortified  by  nature  than  Bohemia,  it  has  also  a 
less  warlike  and  stubborn  race.  The  nobility  swore  obedience  to 
the  king-,  and  renounced  communion  in  both  kinds.  Their  ex- 
ample was  followed  by  some  of  the  Utraquist  nobility  in  Bohemia, 
and  Sigismund  pushed  forward  as  far  as  Kuttenberg,  which  he 
seized.  But  Zizka  attacked  him  unexpectedly,  and  after  driving 
his  army  back  to  the  Ford  of  the  Germans,  inflicted  on  him  a  crush- 
ing defeat  on  the  banks  of  the  Sazava,  in  1422. 

This  victory  freed  Bohemia  from  the  German  invasions,  and 
the  Czechs  were  for  a  number  of  years  comparative  masters  in  their 
own  country.  But  unfortunately  harmony  was  far  removed  from 
their  own  ranks.  Differences  over  questions  of  dogma  divided  the 
men  of  Prague  from  the  Taborites,  while  the  Taborites  themselves 
split  into  various  sects.  The  strangest  theories  arose  among  them. 
Some  preached  community  of  goods  and  of  marriage;  others  (the 
Adamites)  a  return  to  nature,  to  primitive  nudity  and  unbridled 
bestiality.  Zizka  was  obliged  to  denounce  these  refractory  dis- 
ciples and  burned  alive  those  who  fell  into  his  hands.  At  Prague 
the  Taborites  had  recruited  numerous  adherents  and,  under  their 
leader,  the  monk  John  of  Zeliv,  whose  eloquence  swayed  the  masses, 
threatened  to  take  possession  of  the  city.  For  two  years  he  was 
the  real  sovereign  in  Prague,  till  some  of  the  wealthy  bourgeoisie 
got  him  into  their  power  by  stratagem  and  brought  about  his 
execution.  But  a  riot  broke  out  as  a  result,  and  the  conservative 
Utraquists  were  expelled  from  the  council  and  replaced  by  the  fol- 
lowers of  the  new  martyr.  But  in  spite  of  all  these  disorders  the 
grand  duke  of  Lithuania  decided  to  accept  the  crown  of  Bohemia, 
and  chose  for  his  provisional  lieutenant  the  nephew  of  the  king  of 
Poland,  Prince  Sigismund  Korybutovicz.  He  assembled  an  army 
at  Cracow  and  entered  Bohemia  by  way  of  Silesia  and  Moravia, 
without  meeting  any  resistance.  With  this  people,  so  divided  and 
so  jealous  of  their  freedom,  the  authority  of  a  freely  elected  king 
still  preserved  all  its  prestige.  The  regent  put  an  end  to  the  dis- 
orders in  Prague  and  in  other  royal  cities,  and  restored  the  ad- 
ministration of  these  towns  to  the  lords  and  knights.  Unfortunately 
for  Bohemia  he  did  not  long  fill  the  role  of  peacemaker.  In  con- 
sequence of  a  treaty  made  between  the  kings  of  Hungary  and  of 
Poland,  Prince  Vitold  renounced  the  crown  of  Bohemia,  in  1422, 

THE     HUSSITE     WARS  183 


and  recalled  his  wise  lieutenant.  The  Utraquist  nobility  united 
with  the  Catholics  to  place  Bohemia  again  under  Sigismund.  But 
Zizka  undertook  a  vigorous  campaign,  which,  as  always,  ended  in 
the  triumph  of  the  Taborites.  Sigismund  Korybutovicz  returned 
to  mediate  between  the  two  parties,  this  time  on  his  own  account, 
and  against  the  wishes  of  his  uncle.  His  popularity  was  so  great 
that  the  two  parties  agreed  to  recognize  him  again  as  regent. 

Soon  after  these  events  Zizka  died.  The  few  documents  by 
his  hand  which  remain  prove  his  sincere  faith,  deep  religious  feel- 
ing, and  ardent  patriotism.  In  one  of  his  manifestoes  he  declares 
that  he  takes  up  arms  for  the  defense  of  Czech  and  Slav  nationality. 

The  death  of  Zizka  was  a  serious  loss  to  his  party.  His  cour- 
age had  enabled  the  Taborites  to  resist  their  enemies  within  the 
kingdom.  His  authority  had  kept  them  as  far  as  possible  in  the 
paths  of  reason  and  moderation.  After  his  death  his  party  divided, 
the  extremists  keeping  the  name  of  Taborites,  the  moderates  taking 
that  of  Orphans.  But  these  two  factions,  notwithstanding  their 
intestine  struggles,  were  always  ready  to  unite  against  the  Cath- 
olics, and  by  the  Treaty  of  Voszice,  in  1425,  they  obtained  the 
separation  of  most  of  the  royal  towns  from  Prague  and  formed 
an  independent  confederation  under  the  control  of  the  Taborites 
and  Calixtins.  The  Catholics  themselves  consented  to  a  truce, 
and  the  lords  agreed  to  tolerate  communion  in  both  kinds  on  their 
estates.  Pilsen  was  the  only  town  that  refused  to  enter  into  this 

Moravia  had  remained  more  faithful  to  Catholicism;  ortho- 
doxy reigned  almost  throughout  the  vast  domains  of  the 
bishop  of  Olmiitz,  and  in  the  royal  towns  where  the  Germans 
were  in  the  majority,  and  which  for  the  most  part  Sigismund  had 
pledged  to  his  son-in-law,  the  duke  of  Austria.  It  was  only  with 
the  help  and  through  the  proximity  of  Bohemia  that  the  Moravian 
Hussites  could  hold  their  own.  In  the  other  possessions  of  the 
crown  of  St.  Vacslav,  in  Silesia  and  Lusatia,  the  German  majority, 
later  so  sympathetic  toward  the  doctrines  of  Luther,  was,  for 
reasons  more  national  than  religious,  hostile  to  the  Hussite  move- 
ment, while  Brandenburg  had  long  ceased  to  belong  to  Bohemia. 
The  Emperor  Sigismund,  always  in  need  of  money,  had  mortgaged 
it,  and  in  141 5  bestowed  it  on  Frederick  of  Hohenzollern. 

Sigismund  still  hoped  to  regain  his  authority  in  Bohemia. 
After  vainly  seeking  aid  from  the  empire,  he  entered  into  an  al- 



liance  with  his  son-in-law,  Albert  V.,  duke  of  Austria,  and  the 
margrave  of  Meissen,  pledging  several  towns  in  the  north  of  Bo- 
hemia, notably  Brux  and  Aussig,  on  the  Elbe,  to  the  latter.  These 
the  prince  at  once  occupied.  But  this  time  the  Czechs  did  not  wait 
for  the  invasion  of  their  country;  they  assumed  the  offensive,  en- 
tered Austria  to  the  south,  and  sent  an  army  to  besiege  Aussig  in 
the  north.  Their  leader  was  again  Sigismund  Korybutovicz,  who 
was  always  faithful  to  the  cause  of  Bohemia,  and  Procopius  the 
Holy,  also  called  Procopius  the  Shaven,  or  the  Great,  a  married 
priest  whom  events  had  made  a  soldier,  and  who  regarded  himself 
as  heir  to  Zizka's  genius.  A  bloody  battle  was  fought  under  the 
walls  of  Aussig,  at  which  the  Saxons  and  Misnians  were  completely 
defeated  and  forced  to  retreat  beyond  the  frontier.  Albert  of  Aus- 
tria fled  into  Moravia  and  thence  into  his  own  duchy.  Thus  it  came 
about  that  the  Hussites  became  in  their  turn  the  aggressors,  Sigis- 
mund, engaged  with  the  Turks  in  other  parts  of  his  dominions,  be- 
ing unable  to  check  them. 

But  while  victorious  over  their  enemies  in  the  field,  the  Huss- 
ites continued  to  break  up  into  numerous  sects.  The  divisions 
among  the  Taborites  have  been  noted;  these  were  followed  by  a 
division  among  the  Utraquists.  Two  parties  arose.  The  one  de- 
sired a  reconciliation  with  the  church,  stipulating  the  right  of  com- 
munion in  both  kinds.  The  other  adhered  to  the  doctrines  of  Wic- 
lif,  and  demanded  the  abolition  of  certain  Catholic  rites  and  the 
use  of  the  national  language  in  the  mass  for  the  reading  of  the 
Epistles  and  Gospels. 

Prince  Sigismund  Korybutovicz  sided  with  the  former,  because 
it  favored  a  reconciliation,  and  entered  into  secret  negotiations  with 
the  Pope.  At  this  the  opposite  party  rose  against  him,  took  him 
prisoner,  and  drove  him  out  of  Bohemia,  in  1427.  The  democratic 
party  triumphed ;  the  men  of  Prague  drew  still  closer  their  alliance 
with  the  Taborites,  and  Procopius  the  Great  became  undisputed 
head  of  the  Hussites,  with  even  greater  power  than  Zizka  had  had. 

The  Holy  See,  however,  continued  to  preach  the  crusade 
against  Bohemia;  in  1427  the  German  princes  entered  Bohemia 
again,  this  time  by  way  of  Pilsen,  which  had  remained  faithful  to 
Catholicism.  But  at  the  approach  of  Procopius  the  Great  their 
army  withdrew  to  Tachov,  where  the  Czechs  overtook  and 
defeated  them.  Procopius  now  in  his  turn  took  the  offensive. 
He  invaded  Hungary  and  ravaged  the  country  as  far  as  Pres- 

THE     HUSSITE     WARS  135 


burg,  invaded  Moravia,  where  the  Hussites  were  beginning 
to  raise  their  heads  again,  and  by  the  beginning  of  1428  reached 
Silesia.  There  the  Czechs  occupied  and  garrisoned  numerous 
towns,  defeated  the  army  of  the  bishop  of  Breslau,  and 
subjected  a  portion  of  Silesia,  The  Hussites  likewise  penetrated 
into  Bavaria  and  Austria,  and  everywhere  put  to  rout  the 
troops  sent  against  them.  They  were  invincible,  and  Sigismund 
was  obliged  to  open  negotiations.  A  meeting  with  Procopius 
and  his  followers  was  arranged  at  Presburg.  There  Sigismund 
proposed  that  all  religious  differences  should  be  submitted  to  a 
council  which  was  to  meet  within  two  years  at  Basel,  and  that  a 
truce  should  be  declared  till  that  time.  But  the  Bohemians  had  not 
forgotten  the  fate  of  Huss;  they  had  little  confidence  in  a  council. 
The  proposals  were  rejected  and  hostilities  were  resumed. 

Procopius  invaded  Lusatia  and  conquered  it.  Next  he  led 
a  great  expedition  into  Meissen  and  Saxony  against  Germany.  The 
army  of  the  elector  of  Saxony  broke  in  flight  before  the  Hussites. 
Meissen,  Saxony,  Thuringia,  and  Franconia  were  invaded,  and,  ac- 
cording to  some  historians,  seventy  cities  and  several  thousand  vil- 
lages were  ravaged  and  burned.  The  Hussites  became  the  terror 
of  Germany.  The  duke  of  Bavaria,  the  margrave  oi  Nuremberg, 
and  many  cities  purchased  peace.  The  town  of  Homburg-on-the- 
Saale  sent  a  deputation  of  children  to  Procopius  to  beg  for  pity 
from  the  fierce  conqueror. 

The  exploits  of  the  Czechs  filled  the  mind  of  Europe  with 
admiration  and  terror.  The  Holy  See  was  all  the  more  alarmed 
because  the  Hussite  doctrines  were  beginning  to  spread  beyond  the 
borders  of  Bohemia  into  Poland,  Hungary,  Germany,  and  even 
France.  From  Dauphiny  voluntary  contributions  were  sent  to  the 
Czechs,  and  the  bishop  of  Arras  wrote  that  he  dared  not  leave  his 
diocese  because  "  he  had  to  watch  over  his  flock  in  order  to  guard 
them  against  the  Bohemian  heresy."  Christendom  believed  the 
only  remedy  for  so  many  evils  lay  in  the  convocation  of  a  council, 
and  the  clergy  of  Germany  and  of  France  threatened  to  meet  with- 
out the  sanction  of  the  Pope.  But  the  Pope  had  more  faith  in 
arms  than  in  the  decisions  of  theological  assemblies.  The  defeat 
of  the  Bohemians  would,  he  believed,  bring  the  most  rebellious 
spirits  under  the  authority  of  the  church.  Accordingly  a  new  cru- 
sade was  decided  upon  at  the  diet  of  Nuremberg,  in  1431,  and 
shortly  after  a  new  army  entered  Bohemia  from  the  west.     Pro- 



copius  awaited  them  at  the  town  of  Tans  with  a  formidable  force, 
and  once  more  administered  a  terrible  defeat.  Again  the  Hussites 
invaded  Austria  and  Hungary. 

In  the  meantime  the  council  of  Basel  had  assembled.  The 
world  longed  for  peace,  especially  Germany  and  Bohemia,  ex- 
hausted by  the  continual  wars.  The  Bohemian  army  had  largely 
lost  that  religious  gravity  and  incorruptible  morality  which  had  dis- 
tinguished the  comrades  of  Zizka,  and  now  included  all  kinds  of 
needy  adventurers.  Besides  no  effective  government  existed  since 
the  departure  of  Sigismund  Korybutovicz.  The  committee  of 
twelve  appointed  in  1431  exercised  only  a  very  limited  authority. 

The  council  of  Basel  opened  in  143 1.  In  October  a  concilia- 
tory letter  was  sent  to  the  Hussites  asking  them  to  send  repre- 
sentatives to  Basel.  Conrad,  the  Utraquist  archbishop,  had  died  in 
December  of  1430,  and  if  the  Bohemians  wished  to  have  a  clergy 
they  were  obliged  either  to  break  with  apostolic  traditions  or  to  be- 
come reconciled  to  the  Catholic  church.  The  message  of  conciliation 
was  received  with  joy  by  the  estates  and  the  peaceful  inhabitants  of 
Bohemia.  In  a  diet  held  at  Prague,  in  January,  1432,  it  was  de- 
cided by  the  Utraquists  and  Orphans  that  negotiations  should  be 
entered  into  to  learn  how  the  envoys  from  Bohemia  would  be  re- 
ceived. They  had  not  forgotten  John  Huss  and  the  safe-conduct 
which  had  saved  him  neither  from  the  prison  nor  the  stake.  The 
Taborites  agreed  to  negotiate  only  on  the  condition  that  war  should 
be  continued  till  all  was  settled.  Procopius  continued  to  push  on 
his  invasion  of  Germany  and  ravaged  Brandenburg  as  far  as  Ber- 
lin and  Frankfort-on-the-Oder.  He  then  forced  Silesia  to  buy 
peace  from  him  on  exceedingly  hard  terms.  In  the  year  1432  the 
Hussites  sent  an  embassy  to  the  court  of  King  Vladislav,  which 
succeeded  in  arranging  a  treaty  between  Poland  and  the  Czechs; 
in  exchange  for  the  aid  of  the  Poles  the  crown  of  Bohemia  was 
promised  to  the  young  Vladislav  Jagellon.  Nevertheless  the  coun- 
cil, nowithstanding  the  opposition  of  Pope  Eugenius  IV.,  who 
opposed  every  compromise  with  heretics,  sent  a  deputation  to  the 
Bohemians  to  arrange  the  manner  in  which  their  envoys  should  be 
received.  It  was  agreed  that  they  should  appear  not  as  accused  be- 
fore a  tribunal,  but  as  free  men  with  the  right  to  defend  their  doc- 
trines on  the  authority  of  Holy  Scripture  and  the  fathers.  On  this 
the  Hussites  decided  to  send  a  large  embassy  to  Basel,  among 
whom  were  many  eminent  persons. 

THE     HUSSITE     WARS  137 


Procopius,  accompanied  by  one  hundred  of  his  co-religionists, 
entered  Basel  January  6,  1433.  An  eye-witness,  ^Eneas  Sylvius, 
afterward  Pope  Pius  H.,  tells  of  the  impression  made  on  the  people 
by  the  sight  of  the  Hussites,  each  of  whom,  according  to  their 
enemies,  was  possessed  by  a  hundred  devils,  and  of  the  terror  which 
their  chief  inspired.  "  There  is  the  man,"  the  people  said,  "  who 
has  so  often  put  to  flight  the  armies  of  the  faithful,  destroyed  so 
many  cities,  massacred  so  many  thousands,  and  who  is  feared  as 
much  by  his  own  people  as  by  his  enemies."  The  discussions  which 
now  took  place,  sometimes  before  the  council,  sometimes  in  private 
conference,  and  which  lasted  three  whole  months,  were  chiefly  upon 
the  four  articles  quoted  above.  The  majority  of  the  council  was 
favorable  to  the  ideas  of  reform,  and  a  compromise  seemed  likely, 
even  on  the  question  of  the  cup.  But  the  difficulty  was  to  induce 
the  Taborites  to  accept  the  principle  of  authority  in  the  church  and 
the  usefulness  of  the  hierarchy.  The  council,  in  the  spirit  of  con- 
ciliation, consented  to  send  a  deputation  to  Prague  to  treat  with 
the  Hussite  assembly  of  Bohemia  and  Moravia.  A  special  diet 
then  met  at  Prague,  in  June,  1433.  The  church  evidently  could 
not  agree  with  all  the  sects  separately,  and  it  was  manifestly  neces- 
sary that  the  Hussites  should  agree  upon  a  sort  of  middle  doctrine. 
But  the  men  of  Prague  and  the  Taborites  could  not  come  to  an 
agreement.  The  delegates  of  the  council,  however,  offered  to  the 
men  of  Prague  provisional  tolerance  for  communion  in  both  kinds. 
The  other  questions  were  to  be  settled  by  the  council,  in  which  Bo- 
hemia would  be  represented.  Above  all,  it  was  urged  that  a  truce 
be  declared  at  once.  The  men  of  Prague,  on  their  part,  insisted 
that  in  order  to  suppress  the  various  religious  sects  in  the  country 
the  cup  should  be  made  obligatory  in  the  communion  for  all  Bo- 
hemia and  Moravia.  To  make  this  concession  was  beyond  the 
power  of  the  embassy  from  the  council,  and  a  new  Czech  delegation 
was  sent  to  Basel  to  treat  with  the  council  itself.  Meantime  no 
armistice  was  proclaimed;  the  Hussites  continued  to  ravage  Hun- 
gary, and  boldly  besieged  Pilsen,  which  had  remained  the  chief 
stronghold  of  Catholicism  in  Bohemia. 

The  siege  of  Pilsen  dragged,  and  the  besieging  army,  accus- 
tomed to  live  in  plenty  on  the  lands  of  foreigners,  dwindled  away 
on  the  impoverished  soil  of  their  native  land.  An  insurrection 
broke  out  among  the  soldiers  of  Procopius;  wounded  and  made 
prisoner  by  those  whom  he  had  so  often  led  to  victory,  he  gave  up 



his  command  to  his  lieutenant,  Czapek  of  San,  who  was  no  more 
fortunate  than  he  against  the  bulwark  of  Catholicism.  Meanwhile 
the  Council  of  Basel  had  sent  a  new  deputation  into  Bohemia,  which 
brought  to  the  diet  of  Bohemia  and  Moravia  proposals  of  agree- 
ment known  under  the  name  of  the  Compactata.  In  these  the 
council  offered  to  grant  the  cup  to  those  who  should  ask  for  it,  to 
consecrate  the  Utraquist  priests,  and  to  admit  in  principle  the  other 
three  articles  of  Prague,  reserving  to  itself  only  the  right  of  regu- 
lating questions  of  detail,  together  with  the  representatives  of  the 
Czech  church.  The  Czech  clergy,  on  the  question  of  the  Compac- 
tata, was  divided  into  two  parties,  the  one  inclined  to  accept  them, 
the  other  holding  to  obligatory  communion  under  both  forms.  The 
latter  prevailed  and  the  Compactata  were  rejected.  The  delegates 
of  the  council  left  Prague  in  the  beginning  of  1434,  and  the  war 
began  again  more  fiercely  than  ever.  Bohemia  was  now  struggling 
against  all  Christendom.  The  council  laid  a  tax  on  all  the  Cath- 
olic clergy  to  aid  the  Czech  Catholics  and  especially  the  town  of 
Pilsen.  This  money  served  to  buy  off  some  of  the  besiegers,  and 
through  this  treachery  the  town  was  revictualed.  The  permanent 
committee  of  the  estates  called  a  diet  for  April,  1434,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  restoring  peace.  This  diet  decreed  a  general  peace,  and 
decided  that  from  this  time  forward  only  one  army  should  be  main- 
tained at  the  expense  of  the  nation,  and  the  Taborites  and  Orphans 
were  called  upon  to  disband  their  troops  or  else  incorporate  them 
in  the  new  army.  This  measure  for  obtaining  the  proposed  end 
gave  the  signal  for  a  new  civil  war.  In  Prague  the  new  town,  in- 
habited by  Czechs  and  long  held  by  the  Taborites,  refused  to  agree 
to  the  general  peace ;  the  old  town,  on  the  other  hand,  was  inhabited 
by  Germans,  and  accepted  the  peace.  The  army  which  had  been 
raised  by  the  estates  entered  Prague  and  forced  the  rebels  to  obedi- 
ence. At  this  news  the  Taborites  raised  the  siege  of  Pilsen  and 
marched  on  Prague  with  their  old  leader  Procopius  again  at  their 
head.  But  the  army  of  the  Utraquists  had  been  reinforced  by  all  the 
Catholic  troops.  The  two  forces  met  at  Lipany  in  May,  1434. 
The  onslaught  was  terrible.  By  simulating  flight  the  Utraquists 
induced  their  adversaries  to  leave  their  chariots  and  fight  in  the  open 
plain.  After  performing  prodigies  of  valor,  Procopius  was  beaten, 
tired  of  conquering  rather  than  conquered,  says  yEneas  Sylvius.  He 
was  killed,  and  with  him  perished  16,000  of  his  soldiers,  the  flower 
of  his  army.    The  Czechs  could  only  be  conquered  by  themselves. 

THE     HUSSITE     WARS  139 


A  remnant  of  these  troops,  once  so  formidable,  found  a  shelter  be- 
hind the  walls  of  Tabor  and  other  of  the  confederate  towns.  But 
many  left  the  side  of  the  confederation  and  accepted  the  authority 
of  the  estates. 

After  the  victory  the  estates  met  in  a  new  diet  and  entered 
into  communication  with  Sigismund.  They  could  no  longer  count 
upon  Poland  for  support,  for  Vladislav  Jagellon  had  died,  and  his 
son,  Vladislav  III.,  found  his  inheritance  contested  by  a  party  of 
the  Polish  nobility.  Sigismund  went  to  Ratisbon  to  await  the  dele- 
gates from  Bohemia.  There  they  also  found  a  delegation  from  the 
Council  of  Basel,  but  they  were  not  empowered  to  deal  with  it. 
They  came  to  announce  to  the  king  that  the  estates  were  prepared 
to  be  reconciled  to  him,  if  he  would  recognize  the  liberties  of  the 
country  and  pledge  himself  to  obtain  the  consent  of  the  council  to 
communion  in  both  kinds  for  Bohemia  and  Moravia.  Over  the  first 
point  no  difficulty  arose,  but  on  the  second  the  king  asked  them  to 
treat  directly  with  the  council.  In  a  diet  held  on  this  matter,  at 
Prague,  the  Utraquists  modified  their  former  claims  and  consented 
to  demand  the  use  of  the  cup  in  the  communion  only  in  those 
churches  where  it  then  actually  existed.  But  they  also  demanded 
that  Bohemia  and  Moravia  be  given  the  right  to  choose  bishops  and 
an  archbishop. 

In  1435  ^  ^^w  interview  took  place  at  Briinn  between  Sigis- 
mund, the  delegates  of  the  council,  and  representatives  of  Bohemia. 
The  council  would  not  recognize  the  existence  of  an  Utraquist 
church,  and  conceded  only  that  in  each  parish  the  sacrament  might 
be  administered  to  the  faithful  with  or  without  the  cup,  according 
to  the  wishes  of  each.  The  archbishops  and  bishops  were  to  pledge 
themselves  to  administer  the  sacrament  in  either  form,  and  to  con- 
secrate both  the  Catholic  and  Utraquist  priests.  The  Bohemian 
delegates,  apparently  supported  by  Sigismund,  whose  conduct  was 
strangely  ambiguous,  declined  to  accept  these  propositions  and 
threatened  to  quit  Briinn.  At  the  instance  of  Sigismund  a  new 
meeting  was  arranged  at  Stuhlweissenburg,  in  Hungary.  In  the 
meantime  the  estates  of  Bohemia  drew  up  the  list  of  Utraquist  and 
Catholic  parishes,  and  proceeded,  in  accord  with  the  Utraquist 
clergy,  to  the  election  of  an  archbishop  and  two  bishops.  But  the 
council  refused  to  recognize  the  election,  and  appointed  one  of  the 
delegates  temporary  administrator  of  the  archbishopric  Never- 
theless it  was  at  the  council  at  Stuhlweissenburg  that  the  religious 



peace  was  finally  concluded.  Sigismund  gave  the  delegates  of  the 
council  to  understand  that  the  question  of  prime  importance  was 
that  he  enter  into  his  inheritance,  and  that  later  on  he  would  know 
well  the  measures  to  adopt  to  lead  the  kingdom  back  to  the  tnie 
religion.  Accordingly  the  Compactata  of  the  Bohemian  nation 
were  solemnly  proclaimed  at  Iglau,  in  Moravia,  in  1436.  By  it 
the  council  tolerated  for  a  time  the  use  of  the  cup,  and  the  existence 
of  the  Utraquist  clergy,  and  accepted  the  four  articles  of  Prague. 
The  emperor-king  pledged  himself  by  a  royal  letter  to  enforce  the 
observance  of  the  articles  of  Prague,  to  permit  Hussite  preachers  at 
his  court,  to  grant  a  general  amnesty,  not  to  admit  foreigners  to 
public  office,  to  carry  on  the  government  with  the  assistance  of  a 
committee  appointed  by  the  diet,  and  to  take  steps  to  promote  the 
prosperity  of  the  University  of  Prague.  Peace  was  concluded  be- 
tween Bohemia  and  Christendom,  and  Sigismund  was  at  last  able  to 
enter  Prague,  which  had  not  known  a  king  for  so  many  years. 

In  this  manner  ended  the  great  conflagration,  the  first  flames 
of  which  had  arisen  about  the  stake  of  John  Huss.  Bohemia  had 
revealed  to  Europe  the  astounding  spectacle  of  a  people  that  put 
its  religious  faith  and  its  nationality  above  every  other  interest,  and 
increased  its  strength  tenfold  by  its  enthusiasm.  How  did  the  re- 
sults of  the  gigantic  struggle  compare  with  the  sacrifices  it  had  in- 
volved? What  had  become  of  the  reforms  for  which  Zizka  and 
his  followers  had  struggled  so  valiantly?  The  Catholic  church  in 
Bohemia  did  lose  a  portion  of  its  wealth,  but  it  fell  for  the  most  part 
into  the  hands  of  avaricious  nobles,  upon  whom  the  clergy  were 
thenceforth  dependent.  The  best  minds  had  abandoned  the  practi- 
cal ground  of  morality  and  discipline  in  order  to  engage  in  discus- 
sions of  the  niceties  of  dogma.  The  controversy  over  the  cup  had 
excited  men's  minds  as  long  before  the  religious  differences  had 
done  at  Byzantium.  Furthermore,  the  reconciliation  of  Bohemia 
with  the  universal  church  was  far  from  being  complete.  The  coun- 
cil had  by  no  means  granted  all  the  demands  of  the  Utraquists, 
while  these,  deceived  by  the  promises  of  Sigismund,  hoped  to  gain 
still  further  concessions.  Besides  the  Pope  had  not  even  ratified 
the  Compactata. 

In  the  political  world  the  Hussite  movement,  although  secur- 
ing to  fhe  Czech  nation  a  well-founded  preponderance,  and  rolling 
back  for  many  years  the  wave  of  Germanization,  had  not  produced 
the  results  one  might  have  expected.    It  had  begun  by  being  popu- 

THE     HUSSITE     WARS  141 


lar  and  democratic.  It  ended  in  the  triumph  of  the  nobiHty,  which 
thenceforward  became  more  powerful  than  ever.  A  great  part  of 
the  domains  of  the  crown  and  much  of  the  possessions  of  the  church 
had  passed  into  their  hands.  The  balance  of  power  between  the 
crown  and  the  nobility  was  destroyed.  Among  other  peoples,  espe- 
cially among  Catholics,  the  name  of  Bohemia  became  a  name  of  re- 
proach and  contempt.  What  remained  to  Bohemia  was  a  generous 
enthusiasm  for  the  Slav  nationality,  a  deep  religious  fervor,  and 
an  austere  morality  which  was  later  reflected  in  the  writings  of  its 
moralists,  teachers,  and  statesmen,  and  above  all  in  the  lofty  ideals 
of  the  sect  of  Bohemian  Brothers,  among  whom  is  to  be  found 
perhaps  the  finest  heritage  of  the  Hussite  movement. 

Sigismund  lived  only  a  short  time  after  his  restoration;  he 
died  before  the  close  of  1437.  Even  his  few  months  as  king  of  Bo- 
hemia were  full  of  bitterness.  He  found  it  impossible  to  reconcile 
the  promises  he  had  made  to  the  council  and  to  the  Utraquists.  The 
religious  difficulties  continued.  The  bishop  of  Olmiitz,  in  spite  of 
the  Compactata,  refused  to  consecrate  priests  who  would  not  abjure 
the  cup.  The  archbishopric  of  Prague  remained  vacant,  and  the 
Utraquist  church  was  governed  by  an  administrator  and  a  con- 
sistory of  the  priests  of  Prague ;  factional  strife  continued  and  dis- 
content prevailed.  Nor  were  the  material  conditions  in  the  country 
such  as  to  improve  this.  The  Taborites  had  not  all  laid  down  their 
arms.  Some  of  their  bands  refused  to  accept  the  peace,  and  oc- 
cupied the  Chateau  of  Sion,  near  Kuttenberg.  The  king  captured 
the  place  and  had  the  leader  with  fifty-six  of  his  followers  hanged. 
This  roused  the  Taborites,  and  Straznice,  their  leader,  had  just 
renewed  the  war  when  Sigismund  died.  With  him  ended  the  male 
line  of  the  house  of  Luxemburg,  from  which  had  come  three  em- 
perors, two  kings  of  the  Romans,  numerous  minor  princes,  and,  as 
we  have  just  seen,  four  kings  of  Bohemia. 

Chapter   XII 

JAGELLONS.    1437-1526 

SIGISMUND  left  no  male  hei'r,  and  with  his  death,  there- 
fore, the  possessions  of  the  house  of  Luxemburg  by  virtue 
of  the  treaties  entered  into  between  the  Luxemburg  and 
Hapsburg  dynasties,  passed  to  Albert  V.,  of  Austria,  son-in-law 
of  the  emperor.  But  the  agreement  had  been  made  in  the  reign  of 
Charles  IV.,  a  period  in  which  the  royal  power  was  still  at  its 
height.  Since  then  Bohemia  had  learned  not  only  to  dictate  to 
her  king,  but  even  to  do  without  a  king  altogether.  Albert  V.  of 
Austria  had  only  Upper  and  Lower  Austria,  and  was  not  strong 
enough  to  seize  Bohemia  by  force.  Straznice  and  the  Taborites 
preferred  the  young  Prince  Kazimir,  brother  of  the  king  of  Poland. 
And  as  it  was  to  the  interest  of  Poland  to  unite  with  Bohemia  and 
thus  counterbalance  the  union  of  Austria  and  Hungary,  Kazimir 
was  sent  into  Bohemia  with  an  army,  while  the  king  of  Poland 
invaded  Silesia  and  Moravia.  Notwithstanding  this,  and  the  op- 
position of  a  part  of  the  nobility,  Albert  entered  the  kingdom,  had 
himself  crowned  at  Prague,  and  then  marched  upon  Tabor,  the 
center  of  the  resistance.  But  the  Pope,  Eugenius  IV.,  intervened 
and  brought  about  an  armistice.  A  few  weeks  later,  in  1439,  Al- 
bert died,  and  four  months:  after  his  death  his  widow  gave  birth  to 
a  son,  Vladislav,  called  the  Posthumous.  Him  the  Bohemians  re- 
fused at  first  to  recognize.  The  diet  offered  the  crown  to  the  duke 
of  Bavaria,  Prince  Kazimir  of  Poland  having  some  time  previous 
renounced  all  his  claims.  But  the  duke  qf  Bavaria  declined  the 
offer,  and  the  Bohemian  nobility,  tired  of  war,  decided  to  come 
to  an  understanding  with  the  queen-dowager,  Elizabeth,  concern- 
ing the  regency.  They  asked  that  the  king  be  brought  to  Bohemia, 
as  if  the  mere  presence  of  the  king,  however  young  he  might  be, 
would  maintain  order  in  a  country  still  divided  by  factions.  But 
his  mother  refused  to  send  him  to  Prague,  and  the  country  was 
forced  to  govern  itself;  the  captains  of  the  circles  administered 

BOHEMIA    UNDER     PODIEBRAD         148 


their  provinces  as  best  they  could,  but  did  not  always  do  so  success- 
fully. The  old  excitement  arose  again.  The  Utraquists  claimed 
that  the  promises  made  by  Sigismund  were  not  being  kept:  com- 
munion was  not  given  in  both  kinds,  and  the  bishop  of  Olmiitz  still 
refused  to  consecrate  Utraquist  priests.  As  a  result  the  two  rival 
parties  of  the  Utraquists  united  against  the  Catholic  party,  and  they 
even  proposed  to  the  Taborites  to  found  a  church  which  should  em- 
brace all  parties.  After  many  discussions  the  Taborite  doctrines 
were  declared  false  by  the  majority  of  the  Utraquists,  a  decision 
which  proved  the  deathblow  of  the  sect ;  a  large  number  of  parishes 
withdrew  from  it,  and  before  long  the  town  of  Tabor  alone  re- 
mained loyal  to  its  tenets. 

All  attempts  at  uniting  the  non-Catholic  sects  had  apparently 
failed  when,  in  1444,  a  new  leader  appeared  in  the  person  of  George 
of  Podiebrad.  He  was  still  quite  a  young  man,  being  only  twenty- 
four,  but  he  possessed  many  rare  and  excellent  qualities.  Accord- 
ing to  tradition  he  had  John  Zizka  as  his  godfather,  and,  like  him, 
he  was  a  valiant  soldier  and  an  ardent  patriot,  full  of  the  desire  to 
establish  order  and  unity  in  his  native  land.  "  He  was,"  says 
^neas  Sylvius,  "a  short,  thick-set  man,  with  eyes  full  of  fire,  of 
quiet  manners,  infected,  it  is  true,  with  the  Hussite  errors,  but  a 
lover  of  law  and  of  justice."  He  induced  the  heads  of  the  Cath- 
olic party  to  send  an  embassy  to  Rome,  in  1447,  in  consequence  of 
which  the  Holy  See  sent  the  Cardinal  Carvajal  on  a  special  mis- 
sion to  Bohemia.  He  arrived  in  1448,  but  with  no  intention  of 
conciliation.  To  the  requests  that  he  induce  the  Pope  to  accept  the 
Compactata  and  confirm  John  of  Rokycana  as  archbishop  of 
Prague,  he  replied  by  saying  that  the  court  of  Rome  was  deter- 
mined to  reject  communion  in  both  kinds  and  to  confer  the  arch- 
bishopric upon  a  person  of  its  own  choice.  The  irritation  among 
the  people  burst  out  anew,  so  that  the  cardinal  did  not  deem  it  safe 
to  remain  longer  in  the  city,  and  in  the  confusion  which  arose 
George  of  Podiebrad  marched  on  Prague  and  took  it  by  surprise. 
He  was  received  in  triumph  and  became  the  de  facto  governor  of 

But  his  usurpation  began  another  period  of  bloody  conflicts 
for  his  unfortunate  country.  Ulrich  of  Rosenberk,  the  leader  of 
the  Catholic  party,  took  up  arms  against  Podiebrad,  and  besides  his 
foreign  allies,  the  duke  of  Saxony  and  the  margrave  of  Meissen, 
he  received  the  unexpected  aid  of  the  Taborites,  who  had  been  ex- 



pelled  from  the  Utraquist  communion.  But  Podiebrad  was  as  able 
a  statesman  as  he  was  a  soldier,  and  he  incited  Bavaria  and  Branden- 
burg to  attack  Saxony,  while  he  himself  successfully  invaded  Meis- 
sen and  established  his  authority.  A  diet  was  agreed  to  by  his 
enemies,  which  was  to  name  a  regent.  The  exploits  and  power 
of  Podiebrad  marked  him  as  the  natural  choice  of  his  countrymen, 
and  in  145 1  the  emperor  confirmed  their  election.  He  understood 
how  to  make  his  authority  respected  by  all,  and  even  reduced  the 
town  of  Tabor,  forced  it  to  receive  Utraquist  priests,  and  cast  the 
leading  members  of  the  Taborite  clergy  into  prison,  thus  practically 
putting  an  end  to  the  already  enfeebled  existence  of  the  sect.  The 
Catholic  leader,  Rosenberk,  was  besieged  in  Budweiss  and  reduced 
to  submission. 

But  the  outlying  possessions  of  Bohemia — ^Lusatia,  Silesia, 
and  Moravia — were  almost  lost  by  this  time.  It  was  evident  that 
since  their  union  with  Bohemia  was  so  largely  through  the  person 
of  the  sovereign,  the  coronation  of  the  young  king  alone  could 
draw  the  lines  which  held  them  to  Bohemia  together  again.  Podie- 
brad persuaded  Vladislav,  then  fourteen  years  of  age,  to  come  to 
Prague  and  be  crowned.  The  young  king  recognized  him  as  his 
lieutenant  for  six  years,  agreed  to  the  Compactata,  and  promised 
to  keep  the  engagements  entered  into  by  Sigismund.  Thenceforth, 
with  the  authority  of  the  king,  which  had  been  absent  so  long,  the 
regent  was  able  to  reorganize  the  country.  He  reestablished  the 
courts  of  justice,  opened  a  rigorous  inquiry  into  all  the  misappro- 
priations of  lands  during  the  last  thirty  years,  and  recovered  most 
of  the  estates  of  the  crown.  The  estates  of  Moravia,  Silesia,  and 
Lusatia  took  the  oath  to  Vladislav,  excepting  only  the  Catholic  city 
of  Breslau,  which  was,  however,  severely  punished  for  its  opposition. 
The  young  king  had  unbounded  confidence  in  Podiebrad  in  all  mat- 
ters, and  loved  to  call  him  father.  Bohemia  became  once  more 
well  ordered  and  prosperous.  Vladislav  could  even  offer  the  em- 
peror an  army  of  forty  thousand  men  for  the  crusade  against  the 
Turks  after  the  fall  of  Constantinople.  In  1457  the  king  died  when 
on  the  point  of  celebrating  his  marriage  with  Madeleine  of  France, 
daughter  of  Charles  VII. 

According  to  previous  treaties  the  crown  of  Bohemia  should 
have  returned  to  the  house  of  Hapsburg.  But  the  people  had  freed 
themselves  and  did  not  consider  that  they  were  bound  by  the  agree- 
ments of  former  sovereigns.     Besides,  what  need  had  Bohemia  to 

BOHEMIA     UNDER     PODIEBRAD         145 


seek  a  foreign  ruler  when  she  had  the  best  possible  one  at  home? 
Podiebrad  was  the  natural  choice  of  his  countrymen,  and  in  spite 
of  a  great  many  claimants  was  elected  almost  unanimously.  Bo- 
hemia was  once  more  master  of  her  own  destinies.  Freed  from 
the  control  of  Austria  and  Hungary,  for  the  first  time  since  the 
Premyslides  she  had  a  truly  national  king.  Moravia,  Silesia,  and 
Lusatia  took  the  oath  to  the  new  sovereign.  The  emperor  soon 
became  reconciled  to  Podiebrad  and  accorded  him  the  investiture  of 
the  kingdom. 

As  king,  Podiebrad  continued  the  work  he  had  begun  as 
regent:  the  restoration  of  that  peace  and  prosperity  in  which  the 
country  had  been  left  by  Charles  IV.  The  partition  and  diminu- 
tion of  the  royal  estates  had  greatly  reduced  the  army,  and  the  new 
king  did  not  hesitate  to  impose  heavy  taxes  upon  the  estates  in 
order  to  pay  a  well-organized  force.  He  acquired  throughout 
Europe  the  reputation  of  a  wise  and  powerful  sovereign.  One  of 
his  daughters  he  espoused  to  Mathias  Corvin,  king  of  Hungary. 
The  other  married  Albert,  prince  of  Saxony,  thus  becoming  the 
ancestress  of  the  present  dynasty  in  Saxony. 

But  the  religious  troubles  still  disturbed  the  country.  The 
Taborites  had  been  suppressed,  but  they  continued  their  worship 
in  secret,  and  a  new  sect  arose  among  them  known  as  the  brother- 
hood of  Kunwald,  from  the  place  where  it  had  its  origin.  Later  it 
assumed  the  name  of  the  Union  of  Bohemian  Brothers,  and  became 
known  abroad  as  the  Moravian  Brothers.  It  was  organized  by 
a  poor  nobleman.  Brother  Gregory,  and  separated  entirely  from 
the  Roman  church,  choosing  its  bishops  and  elders  from  the  com- 
munity. Their  doctrines  were  similar  to  those  of  the  Taborites, 
but  they  had  one  advantage  over  their  fierce  predecessors,  they 
refused  to  defend  their  faith  by  force  of  arms.  They  preached 
strict  morality  and  imposed  temporal  punishments  for  transgres- 
sions of  duty.  This  stood  in  the  way  of  that  rapid  growth  of  the 
sect  which  might  otherwise  have  been  expected;  but  in  spite  of  it 
there  were  nearly  two  hundred  congregations  subject  to  its  bishops 
and  elders  in  Bohemia  and  Moravia  by  the  end  of  the  fifteenth 

But  notwithstanding  the  inoffensive  character  of  the  new  sect, 
the  king,  though  himself  an  Utraquist,  was  anxious  to  carry  out 
to  the  letter  the  Compactata,  and  treated  them  with  much  severity. 
He  hoped  to  bring  about  a  reconciliation  with  the  Holy  See,  and  to 



this  end  sought  to  crush  out  all  religious  innovations.  In  1462  he 
sent  an  embassy  to  Rome  to  beg  the  Pope  to  ratify  the  Compactata 
secured  from  the  Council  of  Basel.  But  the  reigning  Pontiff  was 
Pius  II.,  formerly  i^neas  Sylvius,  who  had  taken  a  prominent  part 
in  the  Council  of  Basel,  and  who  was  resolved  to  bring  Bohemia 
into  complete  union  with  the  Western  church.  Hence,  instead  of 
consenting  to  the  demands  of  the  king  of  Bohemia,  he  declared  the 
Compactata  abolished,  forbade  communion  in  both  kinds,  and  sent 
a  Papal  legate  to  invite  the  king  to  renounce  the  Utraquist  faith. 
This  neither  personal  inclinations  nor  political  interest  would  allow 
him  to  do,  and  he  cast  the  legate  into  prison.  Pius  II.  then  de- 
clared war  against  him,  and  threatened  him  with  excommunication. 
But  the  death  of  the  zealous  Pontiff  in  1468  for  a  time  sus- 
pended the  effect  of  the  menace.  His  successor,  Paul  II.,  was 
anxious  to  gain  time  and  entered  into  negotiations  with  the  em- 
peror and  the  Catholic  nobles  of  Bohemia.  Finally  he  hurled  his 
anathemas  against  Podiebrad:  declared  him  a  heretic,  backslider, 
and  despoiler  of  the  church,  forbade  his  subjects  to  obey  him,  and 
ordered  a  new  crusade  against  the  Hussites.  But  he  found  few 
of  the  princes  of  Germany,  except  the  emperor,  disposed  to  come 
to  his  assistance.  The  sale  of  indulgences  and  the  hope  of  plunder 
did  bring  together  a  few  armed  bands,  but  they  brought  but  little 
assistance  to  the  confederacy  of  Catholic  nobles  and  the  few  royal 
towns  that  joined  the  rebels. 

The  king,  after  trying  in  vain  to  come  to  terms  with  the  Holy 
See,  determined  to  oppose  force  with  force ;  he  organized  a  power- 
ful army,  threw  himself  upon  his  enemies,  and  captured  their  princi- 
pal fortresses.  His  son  Victorin  he  sent  into  Austria,  in  1468,  to 
chastise  the  Emperor  Frederick  in  his  own  possessions.  But  just 
at  this  juncture  the  Pope  raised  up  a  new  enemy  against  Podiebrad 
in  Mathias  Corvinus,  who  was  persuaded  to  take  part  in  the 
quarrel,  less  perhaps  for  the  honor  of  defending  the  Catholic  faith 
than  because  of  the  desire  to  avenge  his  personal  injuries,  and  by 
the  hope  of  uniting  the  two  crowns  of  Bohemia  and  Hungary  on 
his  head.  He  forced  Victorin  to  withdraw  from  Austria,  and  then 
suddenly  attacked  Moravia,  where  the  Catholic  towns  opened  their 
gates  to  receive  him.  He  next  invaded  Bohemia,  but  was  met  and 
surrounded  by  the  Czech  forces  under  Podiebrad,  and  obliged  to 
sign  a  truce  at  Vilemov.  Scarcely  extricated  from  his  difficulties, 
he  was  released  from  his  promises  by  the  Pope  and  he  resumed  the 

BOHEMIA     UNDER     PODIEBRAD         147 


war  with  savage  cruelty,  cutting  off  the  heads  of  his  Czech  pris- 
oners and  hurhng  them  back  into  the  enemy's  camp  with  catapults. 
He  even  assembled  his  partisans  at  Olmiitz  and  had  himself  pro- 
claimed king  of  Bohemia.  But  again  a  Czech  army  drove  him  out 
and  forced  him  to  take  refuge  in  Hungary,  though  the  towns  in 
which  he  had  placed  garrisons  still  held  out.  Podiebrad,  ill  and 
without  allies,  began  to  fear  the  dismemberment  of  his  kingdom. 
To  get  the  assistance  of  Poland  he  entered  into  negotiations  with 
Kazimir,  king  of  Poland;  and  persuaded  Bohemia  to  accept  him 
as  his  successor,  notwithstanding  the  fact  that  by  so  doing  he  was 
sacrificing  the  interests  of  his  own  house,  for  he  had  two  sons. 
This  act  of  disinterested  patriotism  was  the  last  of  his  life.  He 
died  in  1471  at  the  age  of  fifty-one  years. 

His  early  death  did  not  permit  Podiebrad  to  carry  to  comple- 
tion the  great  projects  he  had  meditated.  He  had  dreamed  of  es- 
tablishing a  sort  of  international  tribunal,  composed  of  the  sov- 
ereign princes,  which  should  act  as  a  court  between  themselves,  their 
subjects,  and  the  church.  He  had  even  sent  an  embassy  to  Louis 
XL  in  regard  to  this  project,  in  1464,  and  a  quaint  account  of  it  in 
the  Czech  language  has  been  preserved.  He  begs  the  most  Chris- 
tian king  of  France,  as  a  prince  devoted  to  the  general  welfare,  to 
convoke  an  assembly  of  the  kings  and  princes,  which  was  to  work 
together  for  the  glory  of  God,  the  good  of  the  universal  church,  and 
the  independence  of  nations — a  chimerical  dream  which  Henry  IV. 
was  to  attempt  later  on  with  no  better  success.  Nevertheless, 
George  of  Podiebrad,  a  true  son  of  the  Czech  nation,  by  his 
patriotism  and  his  virtues  far  surpassed  the  most  illustrious  princes 
of  the  foreign  dynasties  that  have  reigned  over  his  country. 

In  accordance  with  the  engagements  entered  into  during  the 
lifetime  of  Podiebrad,  the  Utraquist  estates  elected  Vladislav  of 
Poland,  then  aged  sixteen,  as  their  king,  in  1471.  He  took  pos- 
session of  the  kingdom  after  swearing  to  observe  the  Compactata, 
and  brought  an  army  of  several  thousand  men  to  the  aid  of  Bo- 
hemia. Mathias  at  once  invaded  the  country,  but  was  unable  to 
get  beyond  Kuttenberg.  It  would  have  been  wiser  had  he  turned 
his  forces  against  the  Turks,  who  had  conquered  the  Balkan  penin- 
sula and  now  threatened  to  overrun  the  middle  Danube  valley. 
Pope  Sixtus  IV.  understood  the  real  interests  of  Christendom  bet- 
ter, and  imposed  a  peace.  But  Mathias  did  not  long  observe  it  and 
in  1478  carried  on  the  war  until  he  secured  the  peace  of  Olmiitz,  by 



which  he  was  given  Lusatia,  Moravia,  and  Silesia  for  his  lifetime, 
and  the  crown  of  Bohemia  at  the  death  of  Vladislav.  In  case  Vlad- 
islav survived  Mathias  he  was  to  have  the  right  to  reclaim  the  lost 
provinces  for  four  hundred  thousand  ducats.  Thus  these  wars 
which  had  begun  in  the  name  of  religion,  ended  in  a  mere  bargain 
for  the  possession  of  certain  provinces. 

In  the  meantime  the  young  king  of  Bohemia  had  found  his 
kingdom  weakened,  his  treasury  exhausted,  and  a  proud  and  arro- 
gant nobility  confronting  him.  Under  George  of  Podiebrad  they 
had  been  held  in  check,  that  monarch  having  always  looked  for  his 
principal  support  to  the  lower  classes,  the  zemane  or  squires.  But 
now  the  nobles  got  the  upper  hand,  and  from  the  reign  of  Vladislav 
Jagellon  dates  the  legalized  oppression  of  the  people.  Taking  ad- 
vantage of  the  weakness  of  the  king,  the  nobles  introduced  into  the 
law  courts  the  principle  that  a  peasant  has  no  right  to  enter  com- 
plaint against  his  lord.  To  the  already  heavy  burdens  of  the  agri- 
cultural classes  they  added  that  of  serfdom,  by  taking  from  the 
peasant  the  right  to  leave  his  land.  They  arrogated  to  themselves 
the  most  extensive  monopolies,  as,  for  example,  that  of  making 
and  selling  beer  to  the  peasantry,  and  they  even  encroached  upon 
the  liberties  of  the  towns.  These  things  gave  rise  to  internal  strug- 
gles in  which  the  young  king  was  often  obliged  to  take  part,  and 
which  seriously  damaged  the  prestige  of  the  crown  and  disturbed 
the  peace  of  the  kingdom. 

In  his  dealings  with  the  religious  factions  Vladislav  was  more 
fortunate.  In  1485  the  Catholics  and  Utraquists  came  to  an  agree- 
ment at  Kuttenberg  by  which  both  parties  promised  to  observe 
the  Compactata  of  Prague  and  the  promises  made  by  Sigismund. 
These  two  agreements  became  from  that  time  forward  laws  of  the 
state  and  were  added  to  the  coronation  oath.  But  Vladislav's  en- 
deavors to  secure  their  confirmation  by  Pope  Alexander  VI.  proved 
fruitless.  Under  the  new  conditions  the  Utraquists  lost  ground 
rapidly.  The  bishops  of  Olmiitz  had  refused  ever  since  the  quarrel 
with  Podiebrad  to  consecrate  any  priest  who  would  not  promise  to 
give  up  the  administration  of  wine,  and  Utraquist  candidates  were 
obliged  to  seek  consecration  abroad  or  else  by  tortuous  methods  at 
home.  Only  occasionally  could  a  foreign  bishop  be  persuaded  to 
come  to  Bohemia  to  officiate.  But  while  it  was  thus  extremely 
difficult  for  the  Utraquists  to  obtain  priests,  priests  without  char- 
acter, sometimes  mere  adventurers,  obtained  admission  into  the 

BOHEMIA     UNDER     PODIEBRAD         149 


Catholic  clergy.  The  result  was  a  serious  decline  in  the  morals  of 
the  people.  Further,  the  Utraquist  estates  asserted  the  right  to 
nominate  the  members  of  the  consistories  and  so  reduced  their 
priests  to  complete  dependence. 

In  the  midst  of  this  decay  the  sect  of  Bohemian  Brothers 
solved  the  difficulty  about  the  hierarchical  succession  by  suppress- 
ing it  altogether,  and  in  the  rigorous  morality  of  their  daily  life 
were  a  constant  reproach  to  the  official  churches.  They  increased 
daily  in  numbers,  notwithstanding  persecution,  for  both  Catholics 
and  Utraquists  denounced  the  Picards,  as  the  Brothers  were  called, 
to  the  king,  and  he  forbade  their  worship. 

In  1490  Vladislav  was  elected  king  of  Hungary,  and,  tired 
of  Bohemia,  he  went  to  reside  at  Buda.  He  was  the  first  Czech 
king  who  did  not  reside  at  Prague,  and  from  this  time  the  ancient 
capital  began  to  lose  some  of  its  importance.  No  great  advantage 
came  to  either  country  from  the  union  of  the  two  crowns  upon  one 
head.  In  15 16  Vladislav  died.  Seven  years  before  he  had  caused 
his  son  Louis,  aged  three,  to  be  crowned  king  of  Bohemia. 

The  accession  of  the  young  Louis,  in  15 16,  again  brought  a 
minor  to  the  throne  of  Bohemia,  and  the  fact  that  the  succession 
during  this  period  so  frequently  fell  upon  a  young  prince  greatly 
favored  the  encroachments  of  the  nobility  upon  the  royal  power. 
On  the  death  of  Vladislav  the  grand  burggrave  of  Prague,  with 
some  of  the  highest  dignitaries,  assumed  the  government  Among 
the  estates  quarrels  and  disputes  continued.  But  in  15 17  an  agree- 
ment was  reached.  The  cities — that  is,  the  bourgeoisie — ^were 
granted  the  right  to  vote  with  the  nobility  in  the  diets  of  the  king- 
dom, and  the  representative  system  thus  established  continued 
almost  to  the  present.  At  this  time  also  the  two  parts  of  the  city 
of  Prague — the  old  and  the  new  town — united  in  order  to  be  the 
better  able  to  resist  the  claims  of  the  nobles.  This  union,  known 
as  the  Convention  of  St.  Vacslav,  did  not,  however,  put  an  end  to 
the  feelings  of  hatred  between  the  classes.  The  partisans  of  the 
towns  and  of  the  nobles  frequently  came  to  blows,  the  castles  of 
the  nobles  were  seized  by  the  citizens,  and  nobles  were  beheaded 
in  Prague. 

Other  troubles  also  arose.  The  Turks  on  the  Danube  were  be- 
coming more  aggressive,  new  imposts  were  levied,  and  from  the 
north  a  new  force  appeared  which  stirred  up  the  religious  diffi- 
culties more  than  ever.     In   15 17  Luther  published  his   famous 




theses  and  inaugurated  the  Reformation  movement  in  Germany. 
By  a  strange  inconsistency  his  doctrines  were  enthusiastically  re- 
ceived by  those  very  cities  of  Germany  which  a  short  time  before 
had  been  the  strongholds  of  Catholicism  against  the  Hussites.  The 
Czechs,  so  long  at  variance  with  the  Holy  See,  could  not  fail  to 
hail  the  new  doctrines  with  sympathy.  They  had  vainly  hoped  to 
retain  the  use  of  the  cup  and  still  remain  in  union  with  the  church, 
for  the  Papacy  had  turned  a  deaf  ear  to  their  prayers.  Protes- 
tantism recalled  the  traditions  of  the  Hussites;  Luther  was  con- 
tinuing the  work  of  the  martyr  of  Constance ;  he  did  not  insist  on 
the  stern  morality  of  the  Bohemian  Brothers,  and  he  had  openly 
broken  with  the  Papacy.  His  teachings  were  hailed  with  enthusi- 
asm. Utraquist  priests  began  to  preach  his  doctrines,  and  as 
early  as  1523  a  Utraquist  synod  added  to  their  confession  several 
articles  borrowed  from  the  Lutheran  formularies.  A  friend  of 
Luther's,  the  priest  Cahera,  was  appointed  administrator  of  the 
church  of  Tyn,  at  Prague,  and  the  breach  with  the  Roman  church 
increased  steadily.  The  city  of  Prague  became  the  scene  of  con- 
flicts and  tumults  and  the  new  religious  controversy  in  Bohemia 
became  marked  by  cruel  excesses,  in  which  the  lawless  character 
of  the  Czech  nobles  found  ample  scope.  Indeed,  their  factious 
spirit  was  largely  responsible  for  the  death  of  Louis  at  the  battle 
of  Mohacs  in  1526,  for  they  would  not  come  to  their  sovereign's 
assistance.  But  their  narrow  egotism  and  lack  of  patriotism  were 
soon  to  meet  with  cruel  punishment. 

Chapter  XIII 

THE    ELECTIVE  MONARCHY.     1308-1444 

ON  the  death,  in  1301,  of  Andrew  III.,  the  last  of  the  Arpad 
I  dynasty  in  Hungary,  three  claimants  to  the  throne  pre- 
sented themselves.  The  first  was  Charles  Robert  of 
Anjou,  closely  related  by  marriage  to  the  Arpads ;  the  others  were 
Vacslav  of  Bohemia  and  Otto  of  Bavaria.  Pope  Boniface  VIII. 
favored  the  French  candidate,  and  since  he  claimed  that  St.  Ste- 
phen had  done  homage  to  the  Holy  See,  he  called  on  the  Hungarian 
prelates  to  recognize  Charles  Robert.  Despite  the  Papal  orders, 
however,  Vacslav  insisted  on  his  rights,  entered  Hungary  and  had 
himself  crowned  by  the  archbishop  of  Kolsesa.  But  he  was  almost 
immediately  recalled  to  Bohemia  by  the  death  of  his  father,  and 
gave  up  all  claim  to  Hungary.  Otto  of  Bavaria  next  presented 
himself,  receiving  aid  from  the  German  colonists  (Saxons)  in 
Transylvania.  But  he  was  likewise  unsuccessful,  and  by  the  year 
1 3 10  Charles  Robert,  who  had  been  crowned  in  1308,  was  recog- 
nized as  the  rightful  king.  But  from  the  beginning  he  had  to 
carry  on  a  struggle  against  one  of  his  powerful  vassals,  Mathew 
Csak,  of  Trencin,  really  a  petty  king  in  the  country  of  the  Slovaks. 
Abroad  the  policy  of  Charles  Robert  was  much  more  ambitious 
than  that  of  the  Arpads.  He  could  not  forget  Italy,  where  his 
branch  of  the  house  of  Anjou  held  sway  in  Naples,  and  dreamed  of 
uniting  the  crown  of  Naples  and  of  St.  Stephen.  In  this  he 
thought  himself  successful  when  he  brought  about  the  marriage  of 
his  son  Andrew  with  Joan,  daughter  of  the  duke  of  Calabria,  who 
afterward  became  the  notorious  Joan  of  Naples.  With  Venice  he 
maintained  the  most  cordial  relations,  and,  anxious  above  all  to 
secure  friends  in  Italy,  concluded  a  treaty  of  commerce  with  her  in 
which  the  towns  on  the  Adriatic  were  guaranteed  her.  In  the  east 
Poland  was  his  especial  concern.  In  1320  he  married  the  daughter 
of  Vladislav  Lokietek  and  formed  an  intimate  alliance  with  him. 
He  never  lost  hope  in  his  ambition  some  day  to  annex  Poland,  and 




in  1338  he  induced  King  Kazimir  III.  to  recognize  his  son,  Louis 
of  Anjou,  as  his  heir.     Four  years  later  he  died. 

The  character  of  Louis  the  Great,  the  son  of  Charles  Robert, 
was  such  that  it  seemed  as  if  he  might  realize  the  ambitious  dreams 
of  his  father.  Shortly  after  his  accession  the  news  of  the  assassina- 
tion of  his  brother,  through  the  instigation  of  Joan,  reached  him, 
and  this  furnished  a  good  pretext  for  intervention  in  the  affairs  of 
Italy.  Although  only  temporarily  successful,  this  first  expedition 
of  the  Hungarians  into  Italy  served  to  open  a  new  world  of  thought 
and  life,  of  culture  and  refinement,  to  them,  and  the  influence  upon 
the  literature,  the  arts,  and  the  manners  of  the  Magyars  was  great. 
But  although  Louis  was  unable  to  establish  himself  permanently  in 
Italy,  he  was  nevertheless  successful  in  securing  a  firm  foothold 
on  the  Adriatic.  He  had  married  a  Slav  princess,  sister  of  the 
ban  of  Bosnia,  a  province  over  which  the  kings  of  Hungary 
claimed  a  sovereignty  they  were  unable  to  exercise.  Because  of  his 
new  relations  to  the  Slavs  of  the  lower  Danube,  the  Pope  called 
on  him  to  check  the  spread  of  the  Patarine  heresy  in  those  regions ; 
he  came  to  be  regarded  as  the  dread  champion  of  the  Roman  church 
in  those  parts,  and  the  Wallachian  adherents  of  the  Eastern  church 
took  refuge  in  Moldavia.  In  1358,  after  a  successful  invasion  of 
Italy  as  far  as  Padua,  he  forced  a  treaty  on  Venice,  by  which  he 
secured  the  whole  of  Dalmatia — an  important  acquisition  because 
it  gave  Hungary  access  to  the  Adriatic  and  an  opportunity  to  de- 
velop into  a  maritime  power. 

In  the  meantime  the  Turks  had  established  themselves  in  the 
Balkan  peninsula  and  were  advancing  on  Hungary.  According  to 
some  obscure  documents  the  first  battle  between  the  Osmanlis  and 
the  Magfyars  occurred  in  1366,  near  the  Iron  Gates.  In  1375  Sul- 
tan Murad  took  Adrianople,  whence  he  kept  watch  on  Byzantium. 
The  Greek  emperor,  John  Paleologus,  visited  the  court  of  Louis 
to  implore  his  aid,  promising  even  to  become  a  convert  to  the 
Roman  faith.  But  the  Pope,  more  concerned  about  matters  of 
dogma  than  about  the  dangers  to  Christianity,  persuaded  him  to 
put  no  faith  in  the  promises  of  the  emperor.  Louis  turned  his 
attention  from  the  empire  to  Poland,  whose  crown  had  so  long  been 
the  aim  of  his  ambition. 

As  we  saw  above  he  had  been  chosen  heir  to  King  Kazimir. 
Since  then  he  had  lost  no  opportunity  to  make  himself  popular  with 
the   Poles  by  helping  them  against  the  Tatars  and  against  the 



Lithuanians,  who  were  still  pagans.  In  1354  he  crossed  the  Car- 
pathians with  a  considerable  army  to  aid  the  Poles  to  hurl  back 
these  two  peoples,  who  had  invaded  Volhynia  and  Podolia.  His 
services  secured  him  the  gratitude  of  the  Poles,  and  in  1370  he  was 
proclaimed  king.  But  his  rule  in  Poland  was  not  as  fortunate  as 
might  have  been  expected;  he  intrusted  the  government  to  his 
mother,  and  she  was  unable  to  win  over  this  restless,  lawless  nation. 
Revolts  broke  out,  and  it  became  evident  that  Louis  would  have 
great  difficulty  in  securing  the  crown  for  his  successor.  He  had 
no  son,  and  after  much  hesitation  married  his  eldest  daughter, 
Mary,  to  the  young  Prince  Sigismund  of  Luxemburg,  son  of 
Charles  IV.,  who  was  sent  at  an  early  age  to  the  court  of  Hun- 
gary to  study  the  language  and  laws  of  the  country.  The  last 
years  of  the  reign  of  Louis  the  Great  were  occupied  with  a  strug- 
gle against  Venice,  which  ended  in  the  defeat  of  the  Venetians  and 
secured  for  Hungary  the  peaceful  possession  of  the  Adriatic 
shore.  With  the  death  of  Louis  the  Great,  in  1382,  the  house  of 
Anjou,  which  had  given  only  two  kings  to  Hungary,  became 

It  was  only  natural  that  these  Angevin  kings  should  introduce 
Western  ideas  and  habits  into  Hungary.  Her  institutions  began 
to  take  on  feudal  characteristics,  though  the  country  never  fully 
adopted  the  feudal  system.  "  Two  things  stood  in  the  way,"  says 
M.  Sayous :  "  first,  the  extraordinarily  full  power  of  the  king  over 
the  entire  land,  which  made  the  growth  of  large  fiefs  impossible; 
and  second,  the  interest  taken  in  politics  by  the  large  body  of  lesser 
nobility,  a  class  much  more  numerous  in  Hungary  than  in  any 
other  country.  In  a  word,  the  king  was  too  powerful  and  the 
people  with  political  rights  much  too  tenacious  in  maintaining 
them,  for  Hungary,  notwithstanding  its  knightly  and  aristocratic 
tendencies,  ever  to  become  a  completely  feudal  state." 

The  Angevin  princes  greatly  increased  the  splendor  and  lux- 
ury of  the  court,  which  was  held  sometimes  at  Buda,  sometimes  at 
Visegrad.  They  gathered  about  them  a  complete  hierarchy  of 
great  lords,  and  richly  endowed  many  noble  fam.ilies.  Tourna- 
ments and  the  science  of  heraldry  were  encouraged;  the  military 
forces  were  grouped  in  banderia  about  the  lords.  Those  who 
brought  a  certain  number  of  soldiers  had  the  right  to  lead  them 
into  battle  under  their  own  standards.  An  hereditary  nobility  was 
organized  by  the  law  of  "  atavicity,"  which  forbade  noble  families 



selling  their  estates,  which  were  to  descend  to  the  natural  heirs,  or, 
in  default  of  these,  to  revert  to  the  king.  Charles  Robert  and 
Louis  rarely  convoked  the  diet,  but  as  an  offset  to  this  they  al- 
lowed the  fullest  liberty  to  the  comitats. 

The  burgher  class  of  the  principal  cities  consisted  largely  of 
foreigners:  the  relations  with  Naples  had  attracted  a  large  num- 
ber of  Italians,  and  the  Germans  flocked  into  Transylvania,  while 
trade  with  Germany  increased.  Certain  cities,  known  as  free 
cities,  enjoyed  extensive  privileges  in  return  for  revenues  paid  the 
king.  Many  of  the  Jews,  whom  Louis  the  Great,  in  his  role  of 
champion  of  Christianity,  severely  persecuted,  emigrated  into  Aus- 
tria and  Poland.  Those  who  remained  constituted  a  population 
by  itself  (Universitas  Judccorum)  entirely  dependent  on  the  king 
and  obliged  to  wear  a  particular  dress.  On  the  other  hand,  the 
clergy  was  overwhelmed  with  rich  donations,  which  did  not  in- 
crease its  morality.  Learning  increased;  Louis  the  Great,  with 
the  consent  of  Pope  Urban  V.,  founded  a  university  at  Fiinf- 
kirchen,  where  all  the  sciences,  except  theology,  were  taught.  The 
literary  productions  of  the  period  are,  however,  of  little  value. 
The  works  of  the  Dalmatian  historians  of  this  time  are  the  product 
of  the  special  culture  which  that  country  enjoyed  because  of  its 
more  direct  intercourse  with  Italy.  Indeed,  the  literary  life  of 
Slavo-Italian  Dalmatia  was  quite  distinct  from'  that  of  Hungary 
proper,  and  although  not  a  line  has  come  down  to  us,  we  know  that 
there  existed  at  this  time  a  whole  cycle  of  heroic  poems. 

Prince  Sigismund  of  Luxemburg  (1382-1437)  was,  as  we 
have  seen,  the  heir  to  the  crown  of  Hungary;  but  the  diet  would 
not  voluntarily  accept  a  foreigner.  Hungary  had  no  Salic  law,  and 
the  diet  crowned  the  Princess  Mary.  Coronata  fuit  in  regem,  says 
the  chronicler  Lucius,  and  this  expression  of  the  fourteenth  cen- 
tury may  perhaps  explain  the  famous  moriamur  pro  rege  nostro 
of  the  eighteenth.  The  young  princess,  with  the  help  of  the  queen- 
dowager,  Elizabeth,  assumed  the  government.  The  Poles  also 
refused  to  accept  Sigismund,  unless  he  promised  to  reside  in 

In  the  meantime  Sigismund  was  seeking  a  recogfnition  of  his 
rights  in  Hungary.  But  it  was  some  time  before  he  was  success- 
ful. The  queen-dowager  tried  to  induce  Charles  of  Orleans  to 
oppose  him,  and  the  king  of  Naples,  Charles  of  Durazzo,  actually 
had  himself  crowned,  but  Sigismund  succeeded  finally,  and  the 



diet  proclaimed  him  king  of  Hungary  in  1382.  Soon  after  he 
abandoned  all  claim  to  the  crown  of  Poland,  as  also  the  claims  of 
Hungary  to  Galicia  and  Lodomeria,  which  were  afterward  revived 
by  Maria  Theresa. 

The  beginning  of  his  reign  was  disturbed  by  a  rebellion  in 
Hungary  and  Croatia,  which  was  suppressed  with  severity.  On  the 
side  of  the  Turks  grave  dangers  threatened  the  kingdom,  Servia 
had  succumbed  at  Kosova;  the  prince  of  Wallachia  acknowledged 
their  suzerainty;  Bulgaria  had  fallen  into  their  hands,  and  Bosnia 
had  been  invaded.  Sigismund  and  the  diet  determined  upon 
prompt  resistance  and,  as  the  forces  of  Hungary  were  insuf- 
ficient, an  alliance  was  sought  with  the  Greek  emperor,  Manuel  H,, 
while  embassies  were  sent  to  solicit  aid  from  Germany,  France, 
and  Burgundy.  The  disastrous  result  of  this  crusade  at  Nicopolis, 
in  1396,  is  well  known:  the  French  and  Hungarians  were  defeated 
and  the  Ottoman  Turks  became  masters  of  the  lower  Danube. 
Sigismund  escaped  with  great  difficulty  on  the  Venetian  fleet,  and 
returned  to  his  kingdom  by  the  Adriatic  with  money  furnished  him 
by  the  little  republic  of  Ragusa. 

Within  Hungary  the  reign  of  Sigismund  is  marked  by  two 
very  important  events.  In  1397  and  1405  the  diets  of  Temesvar 
and  Buda  respectively  laid  the  basis  for  the  representative  system 
of  government  in  Hungary.  It  was  provided  that  each  county  as- 
sembly, or  comitat,  should  send  four  deputies  to  the  lower  chamber, 
in  which  the  royal  cities  were  also  to  be  represented.  The  upper 
chamber  was  composed  of  hereditary  magistrates  and  prelates.  The 
county  assemblies  thus  became  the  real  centers  of  political  life, 
and  they  very  early  adopted  the  plan  of  instructing  their  delegates. 
About  this  time  also  the  light  troops  of  hussars,  specially  designed 
for  the  warfare  against  the  Turks,  were  organized,  and  the  Order 
of  the  Dragon,  whose  members  were  to  fight  infidels  and  heretics, 
was  founded. 

But  Sigismund  cannot  be  regarded  as  a  wise  ruler.  Mel- 
ancholy, capricious,  overcautious,  and  cruel,  he  mortgaged  the  reve- 
nues of  the  crown,  was  an  inveterate  persecutor,  and  never  became 
popular  in  Hungary.  In  1401  he  was  seized  and  imprisoned  as  a 
result  of  a  plot,  but  he  was  soon  afterward  released;  his  action 
against  his  brother,  Vacslav,  king  of  Bohemia,  has  been  noted ;  by 
his  unpopularity  an  invasion  by  Ladislas  of  Naples  was  made  pos- 
sible, and  his  treaty  of  succession  with  his  brother-in-law,  Albert 



of  Austria,  prepared  the  way  for  the  future  rule  of  the  Hapsburgs 
in  Hungary. 

Sigismund  is  better  known  to  history,  however,  as  emperor 
and  king  of  Bohemia  than  as  king  of  Hungary.  In  141 1  he  was 
chosen  emperor,  and  for  the  first  time  this  dangerous  honor  was 
conferred  upon  a  king  of  Hungary.  It  proved  a  great  misfortune 
to  her,  because  thenceforth  she  was  looked  upon  as  an  appanage 
of  Germany.  Nor  did  the  new  dignity  make  a  better  king  of  Sigis- 
mund. In  141 2  he  mortgaged  a  part  of  the  district  of  Zips  to 
Poland,  and  in  14 19  he  lost  the  Dalmatian  coast,  as  a  result  of 
a  war  he  was  waging  as  emperor  against  Venice.  As  a  climax  to 
these  misfortunes,  Sigismund  also  became  king  of  Bohemia, 
which  proved  as  fatal  to  Hungary  as  it  did  to  Bohemia,  for  the 
Hungarians,  menaced  by  the  Turks,  ought  from  this  time  forward 
to  have  directed  all  their  energies  against  the  common  enemy  of 
Christianity,  instead  of  wasting  their  strength  in  useless  wars 
against  the  Hussites,  whose  doctrines  had,  moreover,  found 
numerous  adherents  among  the  Magyars  themselves. 

Had  Sigismund  been  less  occupied  with  the  religious  war  and 
more  attentive  to  the  real  interests  of  the  Christian  world,  he 
might  readily  have  found  a  means  of  indemnifying  himself  for  his 
territorial  losses  in  the  south.  Servia,  only  half  subdued  by  the 
Turks,  had  kept  its  native  princes,  who,  together  with  the  Servian 
people,  many  of  whom  emigrated  to  Hungary,  looked  to  Sigis- 
mund for  aid.  One  of  these  despots,  Stephen  Lazarevic,  even 
acknowledged  himself  as  his  vassal  and  did  homage  to  the  crown 
of  St.  Stephen.  He  died  childless,  and  according  to  the  terms  of 
the  act  of  homage  Hungary  got  Belgrade  and  several  other  towns. 
They  were  only  given  up,  however,  in  exchange  for  Vilagos,  Deb- 
reczen,  and  certain  other  towns  by  the  new  despot,  Brankovic. 

Toward  the  end  of  his  reign  Sigismund  found  his  kingdom 
sorely  threatened  by  the  Turks  on  the  one  side  and  ravaged  by  the 
Hussites  on  the  other.  In  1435  the  diet  of  Presburg  endeavored  to 
organize  the  national  defense  by  completing  the  army:  all  those 
who  did  not  already  serve  in  the  banderia  of  the  prelates  or  the 
great  lords  were  in  the  future  to  serve  in  the  banderia  of  the  county 
assemblies.  The  country  was  divided  into  seven  divisions  to  facili- 
tate military  administration.  But  this  did  not  prevent  internal  dis- 
orders; revolts  of  the  peasantry  broke  out  in  Transylvania,  and 
Hussite  doctrine  spread  among  the  people.     Sigismund  died  in 



1437,  after  a  long  reign,  without  having  remedied  any  of  the  evils 
of  which  he  had  been  either  the  author  or  the  impotent  witness. 

Taught  by  experience,  the  diet  imposed  more  rigorous  restric- 
tions on  the  new  king  than  those  to  which  Sigismund  had  sub- 
mitted. Elizabeth,  the  daughter  of  the  late  king,  was  declared  his 
heir,  and  her  husband,  Albert  of  Austria,  associated  with  her  in 
the  government.  At  last  the  house  of  Austria  laid  its  hand  on 
the  throne  of  Hungary,  the  long-coveted  object  of  it  desires. 
But  Hungary  made  conditions.  The  new  king  must  reside  in 
Hungary;  he  was  neither  to  sell  nor  give  away  the  crown  lands; 
he  was  to  consult  the  diet  concerning  the  marriage  of  his  daugh- 
ters, and  he  could  not  nominate  the  palatine  without  the  consent 
of  the  assembly.  But  neither  the  monarch  nor  the  assembly  had 
to  put  this  wise  agreement  into  practice.  Albert  died  in  1439,  leav- 
ing a  pregnant  wife,  and  the  Turks,  masters  of  Semendria,  at  the 
gates  of  the  kingdom.  Hungary  needed  a  king,  not  the  infant, 
Vladislav  the  Posthumous,  who  was  born  shortly  afterward.  The 
majority  of  the  nation  pronounced  in  favor  of  Vladislav  Jagellon, 
king  of  Poland.  Among  the  supporters  of  the  new  monarch  was 
John  Corvinus  Hunyady,  known  to  history  as  John  Hunyady.  He 
belonged  to  a  noble  family  in  Transylvania,  and  had  already  dis- 
tinguished himself  for  bravery  in  the  struggles  against  the  Turks. 
He  now  supported  the  king  of  Poland  against  the  Austrian  party, 
and  endeavored  to  unite  all  the  forces  of  the  nation  to  fight  the 

Sultan  Murad  had  laid  siege  to  Belgrade,  which  at  this  time 
belonged  to  Hungary,  but  Hunyady  succeeded  in  raising  the  siege. 
Next,  when  the  Turks  entered  Transylvania,  he  marched  against 
them  and  administered  a  crushing  defeat  near  Hermannstadt,  leav- 
ing 20,000  on  the  field  of  battle.  To  Brankovic,  the  Servian 
despot,  he  sent  the  bloody  head  of  a  Turkish  general,  Mesid  Beg, 
as  a  reward  for  his  aid.  Sultan  Murad,  exasperated  by  this  de- 
feat, sent  Schehadeddin  and  the  Janissaries  against  Hungary. 
Hunyady  attacked  them  with  a  vastly  inferior  force  near  the  Iron 
Gates,  and  with  his  Hungarian  cavalry  completely  defeated  them. 
Murad,  terrified,  asked  for  peace,  but  it  was  refused.  Hungary 
believed  the  time  had  come  when  the  Turks  could  be  definitively 
driven  from  her  frontiers.  In  July  of  1443  King  Vladislav  and 
Hunyady  crossed  the  Danube  near  Semendria  and  ascended  the 
valley  of  the  Morava.    Here  the  Turks  were  again  severely  beaten 



and  forced  to  abandon  Sophia.  The  Hungarians  then  crossed  the 
passes  of  the  Balkans,  notwithstanding  the  formidable  defenses  of 
the  Turks,  and  penetrated  into  the  valley  of  the  Maritsa,  where 
they  were  again  victorious.  The  road  to  Constantinople  lay  open 
to  the  Magyars.  But  the  severe  winter  of  those  rough  regions 
overtook  them,  and  in  the  midst  of  triumphs  the  king  was  obliged 
to  order  the  retreat. 

For  the  second  time  Murad  asked  for  peace,  and  the  diet  of 
Szeged  consented  on  the  conditions  that  a  truce  be  concluded  for 
ten  years,  that  Wallachia  pass  under  the  suzerainty  of  Hungary, 
that  Servia  and  Herzogovina  be  restored  to  the  despot  Brankovic, 
and  that  the  Turkish  prisoners  be  ransomed  at  a  heavy  price.  The 
conditions  were  accepted  and  solemnly  sworn  to  on  the  Bible  and 
on  the  Koran.  But  many  believed  the  peace  unwise,  especially  the 
surrender  of  the  advantages  of  the  recent  victories.  Cardinal 
Cesarini  showed  that  oaths  taken  to  infidels  were  not  binding, 
and  that  in  the  name  of  the  Holy  See  he  might  annul  them. 
Consequently  Hunyady  and  the  king  decided  to  renew  the  war, 
notwithstanding  the  treaty,  and  marched  upon  Bulgaria  and  the 
Black  Sea.  Murad  was  in  Asia,  but  the  Genoese  carried  his  troops 
to  Europe  for  seventy  thousand  ducats,  and  on  November  lo,  1444, 
the  Christian  and  Mussulman  armies  found  themselves  face  to  face 
at  Varna,  near  the  Balkans.  In  order  to  recall  their  perfidy  to  the 
Christians  and  to  trouble  their  conscience,  Murad  had  a  copy  of  the 
broken  treaty  and  the  Gospel  they  had  dishonored  nailed  to  a  lance 
and  borne  before  his  troops.  The  battle  opened  favorably  to  the 
Hungarians ;  their  cavalry  charged  with  their  usual  impetuosity,  and 
King  Vladislav,  carried  away  by  his  enthusiasm,  rushed  into  the 
midst  of  the  fight,  where  he  fell,  and  his  head,  raised  on  the  end 
of  a  lance,  announced  their  defeat  to  the  Magyars.  The  battle 
ended  in  hopeless  flight,  and  Hunyady  brought  back  to  Hungary 
only  a  miserable  remnant  of  his  glorious  army.  The  defeat  at 
Varna  opened  the  gates  of  Constantinople  to  the  Turks. 

Chapter  XIV 

THE   TURKS.     1444-1526 

THIS  time  Hungary  did  not  hesitate  in  selecting  a  king. 
The  young  Vladislav  the  Posthumous,  who  was  being 
reared  by  his  uncle,  Frederick  of  Austria,  was  five  years 
old,  and  the  diet  at  once  proclaimed  him  king.  During  his  minority 
the  government  was  to  be  carried  on  by  representatives  of  the  aris- 
tocracy, both  lay  and  ecclesiastic,  a  veritable  republic,  and  Hun- 
gary would  have  spared  herself  many  misfortunes  had  she  learned 
by  this  experience  to  do  without  a  king  altogether.  The  diet  fur- 
ther decided  that  the  young  king  should  be  transferred  to  its  au- 
thority, in  order  to  be  raised  in  Hungary.  But  Frederick  refused 
to  give  up  his  pupil,  and  the  diet  met  again  on  the  famous  plain 
of  Rakos,  and  proclaimed  John  Hunyady  governor  in  the  absence 
of  the  king.  Hunyady  became  a  sort  of  lieutenant  governor  in 
much  the  same  capacity  as  George  of  Podiebrad  a  little  later  in 
Bohemia.  The  first  enemy  against  which  he  had  to  defend  Hun- 
gary was  Austria,  but  the  Holy  See,  recognizing  the  importance  of 
Hungary  in  the  struggle  against  the  Turks,  brought  about  a  recon- 
ciliation, and  Hunyady  again  turned  his  attention  toward  the 
Turks.  He  assembled  an  army  of  25,000,  crossed  the  Danube  and 
penetrated  Servia,  despite  the  hostility  of  the  treacherous  Bran- 
kovic,  as  far  as  the  fatal  plain  of  Kosovo.  Here  Murad  was  await- 
ing him  behind  formidable  entrenchments,  and  in  1448  the  disaster 
of  Varna  was  repeated  for  Hungary.  But  the  popularity  of 
Hunyady  and  the  confidence  he  inspired  continued  unimpaired. 
The  house  of  Austria,  however,  suspicious  of  the  watchful  guar- 
dian of  the  interests  of  Hungary,  raised  new  difficulties  for  him. 
It  supported  the  Czech,  Jiskra  of  Brandyse,  hetman  of  Vladislav, 
who  settled  to  the  north  of  Hungary,  on  the  slopes  of  the  Car- 
pathians, and  occupied  those  regions  for  the  king  of  Bohemia. 
Against  this  formidable  condottiere,  who  is  hated  by  the  Magyars, 
and  regarded  by  the  Czechs  as  a  hero  and  defender  of  the  doctrines 
of  the  Hussites,  Hunyady's  troops  failed.    The  emperor  also  con- 




tinued  in  his  refusal  to  give  up  the  young  king,  while  the  Magyars, 
always  superstitious  in  their  attitude  toward  the  crown  and  the  per- 
son of  their  king,  persisted  in  claiming  him.  Their  envoys  even 
followed  him  to  Italy,  where  they  tried  to  seize  him  by  surprise. 
Finally,  in  1453,  the  emperor  yielded.  Vladislav  came  to  Hungary 
and  Hunyady  handed  over  his  authority,  receiving  with  the  royal 
thanks  the  title  of  count  of  Bistrice.  But  the  king  did  not  remain 
long;  after  assisting  at  the  deliberations  of  the  diet  at  Presburg 
he  returned  to  Vienna. 

About  this  time  the  Turks  again  became  active  on  the  lower 
Danube.  Constantinople  had  fallen  in  1453,  and  Brankovic  ap- 
pealed to  Hungary  for  aid.  A  diet  assembled  at  Buda  voted  large 
subsidies,  and  the  general  insurrection,  or  a  levy  of  all  able- 
bodied  men  in  case  the  kingdom  should  be  invaded.  Hunyady 
again  entered  Servia,  ascended  the  valley  of  the  Morava,  where  he 
defeated  the  Turks  near  Krushevats,  close  to  the  place  where  they 
had  formerly  invaded  Servia,  and  pushed  on  as  far  as  Sophia.  But 
to  expel  the  Turks  from  Constantinople  would  have  required  the 
cooperation  of  all  Europe,  not  Hungary  fighting  single-handed. 
Besides,  Hunyady  had  two  jealous  rivals,  the  Palatine  Gara  and 
the  count  of  Cilly,  who  did  their  utmost  to  turn  the  young  king 
against  him.  The  brave  soldier  was  obliged  to  retrace  his  steps. 
But  he  determined  at  least  to  save  Belgrade,  which,  from  its 
strength  and  its  position,  is  the  key  both  of  the  middle  Danube  and 
of  the  Save.  By  the  Turks  it  has  been  called,  and  with  good  rea- 
son, the  Town  of  the  Holy  War.  Hunyady's  brother-in-law  was 
in  command  of  the  place  and  Sultan  Mohammed  II.  had  brought 
together  for  its  capture  the  most  formidable  artillery  that  had  ever 
been  seen.  In  this  unequal  struggle  Hunyady  had  no  ally  except 
the  army  of  60,000  volunteers  which  the  eloquence  of  the  Monk 
Capistrano  had  gathered  from  all  over  Europe.  A  very  small 
force  in  view  of  the  danger  threatening  Christendom,  but  the  age 
of  crusades  had  gone  by. 

The  first  battle  took  place  on  the  Danube,  when  the  Magyar 
fleet  overthrew  the  galleys  of  the  Turks,  and  Hunyady  and  Ca- 
pistrano were  enabled  to  enter  Belgrade.  On  July  21,  1456,  after 
having  destroyed  the  walls  with  his  formidable  artillery,  Mo- 
hammed ordered  the  attack  by  the  Janissaries.  They  broke  through 
the  outworks,  but  on  finding  themselves  confronted  by  a  second 
line  of  fortifications  their  courage  failed.     Completely  repulsed, 

WARS    WITH     THE     TURKS  161 


the  sultan  fled  to  Sophia,  leaving  24,000  dead  and  all  his  artillery 
under  the  walls  of  the  citadel.  But  Hunyady  did  not  long  survive 
this  triumph ;  he  died  shortly  after,  whether  from  a  wound  or  from 
an  epidemic  which  broke  out  in  the  army,  is  not  known.  His  con- 
temporaries paid  the  most  striking  homage  to  his  memory.  "  With 
him,"  said  Pope  ^neas  Sylvius,  "  have  died  our  hopes."  "  He  was 
a  great  man  in  all  things,"  exclaimed  Chalcondylas.  And  the  Polish 
chronicler,  Dlugosz,  who  is  not  at  all  favorable  to  the  Hungarians, 
is  forced  to  write,  "  He  was  celebrated  in  fight,  and  possessed  of 
great  worth  as  a  leader  of  armies.  His  death  was  a  calamity  not 
only  for  Hungary,  but  for  the  whole  Catholic  world." 

King  Vladislav  was  not  worthy  of  such  a  subject.  Besides 
his  previous  ingratitude,  he  now  allowed  himself  to  be  prejudiced 
against  the  noble  warrior,  even  after  his  death,  by  the  count  of 
Cilly.  Hunyady's  son,  Vladislav,  and  his  brother-in-law  Szilagy 
came  into  possession  of  a  letter  written  by  the  favorite  to  the  despot 
of  Servia,  in  which  he  proposed  to  him  to  exterminate  "  these 
Wallachian  dogs,"  as  he  called  the  Hunyadys.  They  resolved  to 
anticipate  him,  and  when  Cilly  came  to  Belgrade  with  the  king 
they  caused  his  assassination.  This  was  but  an  act  of  justice  ac- 
cording to  the  customs  of  the  time,  but  the  king  never  forgave  it, 
and  at  the  instigation  of  Gara  had  Vladislav  Hunyady  cast  into 
prison  at  Buda,  and  condemned  to  death  in  1457.  The  headsman, 
in  his  agitation,  struck  three  times  without  reaching  the  neck  of 
the  noble  victim.  "  The  laws  forbid  striking  more  than  thrice," 
said  the  son  of  the  man  who  had  saved  Belgrade.  But  the  king, 
inflexible  in  his  vengeance,  ordered  the  execution  of  the  sentence. 
And  as  if  to  complete  his  own  dishonor,  he  issued  an  edict  declaring 
John  Hunyady  a  traitor  and  a  scoundrel.  But  Vladislav  did  not 
long  survive  his  shame.  He  died  a  few  days  after  his  victim,  Vlad- 
islav Hunyady.  Magyar  poetry  has  found  a  fertile  field  in  these 
tragic  events  and  is  full  of  the  memory  of  these  sad  scenes. 

The  memory  of  John  Hunyady  received  a  glorious  vindica- 
tion. Vladislav  Hunyady  had  perished  at  the  hands  of  the  hang- 
man, but  he  left  a  younger  brother  named  Mathias.  Him  the  Hun- 
garian diet,  at  Pesth,  in  January,  1458,  elected  by  almost  unani- 
mous choice  as  king.  Szilagy,  his  uncle,  was  chosen  governor 
for  five  years,  and  after  pledging  himself  to  respect  the  liberties 
of  the  nation,  raised  an  army  of  40,000  in  support  of  the  young 
king.     But  Podiebrad,  the  newly  elected  king  of  Bohemia,  whither 



Mathias  had  been  sent  by  Vladislav  the  Posthumous,  refused  to  let 
him  return  except  for  a  heavy  ransom,  and  on  condition  that  he 
marry  his  eldest  daughter  Catherine.  For  the  first  time  in  many 
years  Bohemia  and  Hungary  each  had  a  native  king,  and  the  Holy 
See  and  the  house  of  Austria  were  alike  astonished  and  enraged  at 
this  innovation,  which  paid  so  little  regard  to  their  rights,  and 
still  less  to  their  claims. 

The  young  king  was  worthy  of  his  lofty  dignity;  he  had 
received  a  remarkable  education;  he  spoke  Hungarian,  German, 
and  Slav,  and  from  his  father  he  inherited  warlike  instincts  and  the 
art  of  ruling.  He  began  by  putting  the  military  forces  of  Hun- 
gary on  a  good  footing.  Then  he  took  up  the  task  of  reducing  the 
strength  of  the  great  nobles  who  disputed  the  royal  authority,  and 
among  whom  were  his  uncle,  Szilagy,  Gara,  Jiskra  de  Brandyse, 
and  Ujlaky.  In  this,  too,  he  was  successful,  notwithstanding  their 
alliance  with  Frederick  IV.,  who  still  had  possession  of  the  sacred 
crown  and  who  now  took  the  title  of  king  of  Hungary.  The 
emperor  finally  yielded,  recognized  Mathias  as  his  adopted  son, 
and  returned  the  sacred  crown.  In  return  he  obtained  his  own 
recognition  as  heir  to  the  throne,  in  case  Mathias  died  childless. 

This  left  Mathias  free  to  pursue  the  traditional  policy  of  the 
Magyars  against  the  Turks,  who  had  been  gaining  ground  stead- 
ily. In  1463  Bosnia  was  completely  conquered  by  them;  its  king 
and  the  greater  number  of  the  nobles  beheaded,  30,000  young  Bos- 
nians enrolled  in  the  Janissaries,  and  200,000  carried  into  captivity. 
In  Wallachia,  too,  they  had  completely  established  their  rule. 
Mathias  sent  ambassadors  to  Vienna,  Venice,  and  to  the  Pope,  and 
with  the  aid  received  from  them  was  able  to  recover  a  part  of  Bos- 
nia and  drive  the  Mussulmans  back  from  Belgrade.  Once  again 
the  frontier  of  Hungary  on  the  Save  was  safe.  But  much  more 
remained  to  be  done ;  it  was  necessary  to  drive  the  Turks  from  the 
Slavo-Hellenic  peninsula,  and  in  this  work  Hungary  would  natu- 
rally be  the  sword  of  Europe.  Still  a  proposal  for  a  general  coun- 
cil and  a  grand  league  of  Christendom  against  the  infidel  made  by 
France  and  Bohemia  was  rejected  by  Mathias,  who  suspected  both 
the  motives  and  the  plan.  He  had  always  retained  a  certain 
animosity  against  Podiebrad,  and  he  had  little  faith  in  a  council, 
remembering,  perhaps,  the  sad  consequences  of  the  Council  of 
Constance.  Besides,  he  regarded  Podiebrad  as  a  Hussite,  and,  en- 
couraged by  Pope  Pius  II.,  he  now  turned  his  arms  against  Bo- 

WARS     WITH     THE     TURKS  163 


hernia,  thus  beginning-  an  anti-Christian  crusade  against  the  very 
king  who  cherished  the  grandiose  designs  of  a  European  coalition 
against  the  infidel. 

For  a  time  the  war  was  delayed,  first  by  the  intervention  of 
the  emperor,  always  eager  to  interfere  in  the  internal  affairs  of 
Hungary,  later  by  the  revolt  of  Transylvania.  But  in  1468 
Mathias  assembled  the  estates  of  Hungary  at  Eger  to  prepare  for 
the  fratricidal  struggle  against  Bohemia — "  A  war,"  says  the  Hun- 
garian historian,  Boldenyi,  "  the  most  unjust  and  fruitless  that 
Mathias  could  have  undertaken  from  the  standpoint  of  Hungarian 
interests.  What  glory,  what  triumphs  would  not  have  been  as- 
sured to  Christendom  in  an  intimate  alliance  of  Hungary  with 
Bohemia  against  the  Mussulman.  The  face  of  eastern  Europe 
might  perhaps  have  been  changed !  "  Nothing  could  have  been  more 
favorable  to  the  interests  of  the  Turks  and  the  Austrians  than  this 
conflict.  The  Hungarian  diet  hesitated  at  first,  but  the  Papal 
legate,  the  bishop  of  Breslau,  and  the  envoy  of  the  emperor  urged 
them  on.  War  was  determined  upon,  and  the  Pope's  legate  wrote, 
"  The  church  owes  eternal  praise  to  the  king  of  Hungary." 

The  details  of  the  war  belong  to  the  history  of  Bohemia. 
After  a  struggle  frequently  interrupted  by  negotiations  and  a  par- 
tial reconciliation  with  Podiebrad,  Mathias  had  himself  crowned 
king  of  Bohemia  at  Olmiitz,  in  1469.  The  death  of  Podiebrad, 
however,  changed  the  situation.  The  Czechs  elected  Vladislav 
Jagellon,  the  king  of  Poland,  and  against  this  rival,  who  com- 
manded the  forces  of  two  kingdoms,  Mathias  had  little  chance  of 
holding  the  crown  he  had  usurped  in  Moravia.  Besides,  he  found 
himself  threatened  by  an  invasion  of  the  Turks  in  southern  Hungary. 
A  treaty  was  soon  (1475)  concluded,  by  which  Mathias  was  granted 
Moravia  and  a  part  of  Silesia.  But  these  gains  brought  but  little 
advantage  to  Hungary.  Indeed,  the  first  part  of  the  reign  of  Ma- 
thias is  wretched  enough;  the  second  part  is  greater  and  nobler. 
The  king,  inspired  by  a  wiser  policy,  directed  his  attacks  against  the 
two  real  enemies  of  his  kingdom — the  Turks  and  the  emperor.  And 
it  was  high  time  that  attention  should  be  given  the  Mussulman 
advance.  While  Mathias  was  warring  in  Bohemia,  Mohammed 
II.  had  built  the  fortress  of  Shabats  on  the  Save,  which  commands 
that  river  above  Belgrade.  Against  this  fortress  the  king  led  his 
forces  and  captured  it,  while  his  lieutenant,  Batory,  aiding  Prince 
Stephen  of  Moldavia,  drove  the  Turks  from  that  province. 



Against  the  emperor  he  was  equally  successful.  The  house 
of  Hapsburg,  always  jealous  of  Hungary,  could  not  leave  Mathias 
in  the  peaceful  enjoyment  of  the  spoils  of  the  struggle  with  Bo- 
hemia, and  a  war  broke  out.  It  was,  however,  of  short  duration : 
the  Hungarian  cavalry  invaded  Austria,  carrying  all  before  it,  and 
the  emperor  having  fled  to  Linz,  recognized  the  right  of  Mathias 
to  the  free  possession  of  Moravia  and  Silesia  in  1485. 

But  notwithstanding  these  successes,  Mathias,  constantly 
pressed  by  the  Turks,  was  beginning  to  reap  the  fruits  of  his  mis- 
taken policy.  At  the  very  moment  when  he  was  most  in  need  of 
allies  he  found  himself  isolated.  In  1479  a  formidable  Turkish 
army  invaded  Transylvania.  The  king  sent  Batory  against  them, 
and  on  the  plain  of  Kenyer-Meso — the  field  of  com — this  gen- 
eral, despite  his  smaller  forces,  scored  a  brilliant  victory.  He  him- 
self was  wounded  six  times  during  the  battle  and  finally  saved  only 
by  the  heroism  of  Kiniszy,  the  intrepid  commander  of  the  hussars. 
The  tents  and  baggage  of  the  enemy  fell  into  the  hands  of  the 
Hungarians,  who  celebrated  their  victory  with  extravagant  re- 
joicings. Kiniszy  himself,  according  to  the  chroniclers,  "  throwing 
aside  his  usual  gravity,  executed  the  Hungarian  dance,  holding  a 
dead  Turk  in  his  teeth  and  one  in  each  arm."  The  death  of  Mo- 
hammed II.  increased  the  hopes  of  the  Christians  still  further.  The 
conqueror  of  Constantinople  was  succeeded  by  Bajazet  II.,  and  he 
offered  a  truce  for  five  years.  This  Mathias  accepted,  and  at  once 
turned  to  take  up  the  struggle  with  the  Emperor  Frederick  again. 
Frederick  was  forced  to  fly  to  Nuremberg.  But  the  Germans  of 
Vienna  were  not  inclined  to  submit  to  the  Magyars,  and  a  long 
siege  was  necessary  to  reduce  the  city  in  1485.  Already  in  posses- 
sion of  Silesia  and  Moravia,  the  mastery  over  the  archduchy  of 
Austria  gave  Mathias  a  state  almost  as  large  as  Austria  of  to-day, 
if  we  except  Bohemia  and  Galicia.  But  his  dominions  were  far 
from  being  consolidated,  and  while  the  house  of  Austria  extended 
its  influence  by  marriages,  Mathias  had  no  legitimate  heir.  And 
in  1490  a  sudden  death  carried  him  off  before  he  had  made  final 
arrangements  for  the  disposition  of  his  possessions.  He  wrote 
his  own  proud  epitaph:  "Austria  conquered  bears  witness  to  my 
power.  I  was  the  terror  of  the  world.  The  emperor  of  the  Ger- 
mans and  the  sultan  of  the  Turks  trembled  before  me.  Death  alone 
could  conquer  me." 

Hungary  mourned  her  hero,  and  Mathias  Corvinus  remains 

WARS     WITH     THE     TURKS  165 


to-day  one  of  her  most  honored  and  best  remembered  kings.  He 
did  not  belong  to  a  foreign  house,  but  was  one  of  her  own  sons. 
He  accomplished  great  things,  but  he  was  not  a  great  man,  and 
the  meanness  of  his  ambitions  has  done  more  harm  to  Hungary 
than  the  courage  and  variety  of  his  enterprises  profited  her.  As  a 
law-giver  and  a  patron  of  art  and  letters  his  greatness  is  less  ques- 
tionable. Few  sovereigns  have  had  more  respect  for  the  constitu- 
tion. Every  year  he  convoked  the  diet,  including  not  only  the 
prelates  and  barons,  but  also  the  representatives  of  the  comitats; 
or,  as  a  contemporary  expressed  it,  the  "  commonalty  of  the 

"  The  political  life  of  the  comitats  was  very  active  during 
his  reign:  these  county  assemblies  met  frequently,  and  Mathias 
looked  to  them  for  support  against  the  great  nobles,  who  strove 
to  make  themselves  independent  of  the  crown.  The  king  had  the 
right  to  name  the  chief  count  of  the  comitat,  but  his  deputy  had 
always  to  be  chosen  from  among  the  nobles  of  the  comitat.  The 
functions  of  the  palatine  were  lessened  and  he  was  deprived  of 
those  judicial  powers  which  made  of  him  the  chief  justice  of  the 
kingdom.  Although  very  religious  and  devoted  to  the  Holy  See 
in  a  somewhat  capricious  rhanner,  Mathias  restrained  the  clergy 
and  prohibited  appeals  to  Rome.  But  above  all  he  tried  to  restrain 
the  privileges  of  the  upper  nobility.  "  Mathias  is  dead  and  justice 
is  fled  "  is  a  Magyar  proverb  that  has  come  down  to  our  times. 
The  king  also  took  great  pains  to  encourage  and  protect  commerce, 
and  invited  foreigners  to  his  kingdom,  especially  the  Servians,  who 
came  in  great  numbers,  after  the  death  of  Brankovic  and  the  final 
ruin  of  the  old  Servian  empire. 

Mathias  had  a  well-cultivated  mind,  and  possessed  that  ready 
wit  which  makes  a  king  popular.  "  He  is  a  wise  and  learned  king, 
and  of  great  dignity  of  speech.  He  says  only  what  is  necessary 
and  in  reason  and  eloquence  he  surpasses  all  the  princes  I  have 
known,"  wrote  the  Papal  legate.  His  second  wife,  Beatrix,  brought 
from  Italy  the  traditions  and  influence  of  the  Renaissance;  many 
Italians  lived  at  the  court  of  Buda  and  embellished  the  kingdom 
with  beautiful  buildings.  The  royal  palace  was  magnificent  and 
filled  with  precious  objects.  Mathias  founded  at  Buda  the  first 
royal  library,  the  famous  Corvina,  which  is  said  to  have  possessed 
fifty  thousand  manuscripts,  an  enormous  number  for  that  time. 
Agents  were  sent  everywhere  to  buy  manuscripts  or  make  copies,  and 



thirty  copyists  were  constantly  at  work  in  Buda  itself.  He  gathered 
about  him  poets  and  writers,  but  unfortunately  their  works,  which 
were  in  Magyar,  have  perished;  the  only  manuscripts  of  the  time 
that  have  been  preserved  deal  with  theology.  The  national  lan- 
guage had  not  yet  attained  its  true  place  in  literature. 

The  treasures  of  the  Corvina  library  were  unfortunately  scat- 
tered and  lost  during  the  succeeding  centuries;  the  kings  of  the 
Jagellon  dynasty  sold  some  and  the  Turks  carried  off  others.  Some 
found  their  way  to  Paris,  notably  a  Ptolemy  and  a  St.  Jerome; 
others  to  Vienna  and  Pesth,  while  recently  some  volumes  were  re- 
stored by  the  Turks  on  the  occasion  of  the  expressions  of  sympathy 
between  the  two  countries  during  the  Russian  war  of  1877.  But 
the  era  of  manuscripts  was  about  to  end :  printing  was  introduced 
from  Germany  in  1473,  and  by  the  end  of  the  century  Buda  had  as 
many  as  thirteen  bookstores.  To  this  time  also  belong  the  be- 
ginnings of  a  learned  society  called  "  Sodalitas  litteraria  Hun- 
garorum."  Most  of  the  writers  of  the  time  are  Italians  and 
Greeks,  though  some  are  natives,  notably  John  Thuroczy,  the 
author  of  the  "  Chronicles  of  Hungary."  Mathias  contemplated 
founding  a  large  university  at  Buda,  but  death  prevented  the 
realization  of  the  project,  though  an  Academia  Corviniana,  com- 
prising the  two  faculties  of  theology  and  philosophy,  existed  down 
to  the  time  of  the  battle  of  Mohacs. 

The  reign  of  Mathias  Corvinus  is  the  highwater  mark  in  the 
history  of  Hungary :  from  this  time  forward  we  shall  see  her  hope- 
less decay.  After  the  death  of  Mathias  the  diet,  unable  to  find  a 
native  king,  and  divided  between  rival  factions,  turned  to  a  for- 
eigner. Vladislav  II.,  king  of  Bohemia,  and  the  old  rival  of 
Mathias,  was  elected,  thus  uniting  the  two  crowns  of  St.  Vacslav 
and  St.  Stephen,  a  union  which  Mathias  had  so  ardently  hoped  to 
bring  about  by  his  deplorable  war. 

It  was  by  no  means  the  common  interests  of  the  two  kingdoms 
that  had  prompted  the  choice  of  the  diet,  for  Vladislav  was  feeble 
and  insignificant.  He  was  called  the  "  King  Dobre,"  which  ex- 
presses inertia,  a  characteristic  which  recommended  itself  strongly 
to  the  violent  nobility,  anxious  for  a  brief  respite  from  the  harsh 
rule  of  Corvinus.  "  He  neither  liked  nor  knew  how  to  command, 
and,  if  he  had,  the  country  would  have  refused  to  obey.  His  head 
was  empty,  and  his  purse  was  even  more  so.  He  must  fumble  at 
the  very  bottom  to  find  a  solitary  coin.     Insects  and  the  weather 

WARS    WITH     THE     TURKS  167 


had  eaten  the  fur  from  his  garments,  and  his  clothes  were  so  worn 
that  they  had  lost  their  color." 

The  beginning  of  his  reign  was  not  fortunate;  Maximilian 
recovered  the  Austrian  provinces,  and  John  of  Poland  declared  war 
on  his  brother  and  obliged  him  to  surrender  a  part  of  Silesia. 
Maximilian  also  invaded  Hungary,  consenting  to  withdraw  only 
after  a  treaty  had  been  signed  which  assured  the  succession  in 
Hungary  to  the  house  of  Austria  in  case  Vladislav  died  without 
children.  This  treaty,  in  which  the  king  disposed  of  the  kingdom 
without  consulting  it,  raised  a  storm  of  indignation. 

Meanwhile  the  Turks  were  crowding  in  upon  the  southern  fron- 
tier. Failing  in  his  attempts  to  capture  Belgrade,  in  1492,  Bajazet 
II.  had  entered  the  valley  of  the  Save  and  defeated  the  disorgan- 
ized Hungarian  forces.  The  diet  of  1493  complains  bitterly  of 
the  cowardice  and  inertia  of  a  king  who  preferred  "  the  repose 
and  pleasures  of  the  chase  to  the  stem  duties  of  war."  The 
finances  of  the  kingdom  were  in  the  greatest  disorder;  the  great 
lords  quarreled  over  the  possession  of  power.  In  1505  the  diet 
came  to  a  remarkable  decision.  "  This  kingdom,"  declared  the 
manifesto,  "  has  often  been  governed  by  foreign  kings  and  never 
has  it  suffered  so  much  as  under  their  rule.  .  .  .  Concerned 
only  with  the  interests  of  their  families  instead  of  studying  the 
manners  and  customs  of  this  Scythian  people,  who  have  made 
themselves  masters  of  the  soil  they  occupy  at  the  price  of  their 
blood,  these  foreigners  have  given  themselves  up  to  idleness  rather 
than  the  toils  of  war.  Thus  we  have  lost  Servia,  Galicia,  Lodo- 
meria,  Bulgaria,  and  Dalmatia.  .  .  .  This  dismemberment  of 
our  frontiers  may  well  cause  us  fear  lest  the  enemy  will  ultimately 
invade  our  land  itself,  if  the  nation,  out  of  love  for  its  native  soil, 
does  not  choose  from  among  its  own  a  capable  king."  It  was 
somewhat  late  for  this  expression  of  patriotism.  The  nobles  had 
only  themselves  to  blame  if  Hungary  had  so  often  been  ruled  by 
foreigners.  The  manifesto  was  sent  to  all  the  comitats.  It  was 
mainly  the  work  of  the  prothonotary,  Stephen  Verboczy,  an  ardent 
patriot,  who  devoted  his  life  to  the  study  of  the  public  law  of 
Hungary.  But  unfortunately  legal  formulas,  however  eloquently 
expressed,  avail  nothing  against  brute  force. 

Vladislav  had  one  son,  Prince  Louis.  Entangled  in  the  net- 
work of  Austrian  diplomacy,  he  had  affianced  him  in  his  cradle  to 
Mary  of  Austria,  the  sister  of  the  future  Charles  V.,  agreeing  fur- 



ther  that  if  his  son  should  die  first  to  bequeath  the  kingdom  to  his 
daughter  Anne,  who  was  betrothed  to  Ferdinand  of  Austria.  And 
he  cared  so  Httle  for  the  interest  of  Hungary  that  he  did  not  even 
take  advantage  of  the  League  of  Cambray  to  regain  Dalmatia 
from  Venice.  An  insurrection  among  the  peasantry,  accompanied 
by  appalling  Jacqueries,  added  still  further  to  the  sadness  of  this 
miserable  reign.  Hungary  was  essentially  an  aristocratic  country. 
The  great  barons  did  their  utmost  to  crush  the  lesser  nobility, 
and  these  in  their  turn  exploited  the  peasants.  Deep-seated  hatred 
was  nourished  by  the  rural  classes,  and  awaited  only  a  suitable  op- 
portunity to  burst  forth.  In  15 13  Cardinal  Bakracz  came  from 
Rome  with  a  bull  for  a  crusade  against  the  infidel.  The  peasants 
armed  as  if  against  the  Turk,  and  then  turned  upon  their  lords. 
The  leader  of  the  movement,  Dosza,  was  a  peasant  from  Transyl- 
vania and  a  Szekler.  Armed  with  a  scythe,  he  led  the  peasants  in 
what  he  proclaimed  a  holy  crusade,  or  kurucs,  against  their  infidel 
lords.  In  the  first  encounter  he  was  successful,  but  the  nobles  chose 
John  Szapolyai,  the  voievode  of  Transylvania,  as  their  leader,  and 
defeated  Dosza  near  Temesvar.  Their  revenge  upon  the  captured 
leader  was  terrible.  The  king  of  the  peasants  was  seated  on  a 
throne  of  fire  and  a  red-hot  crown  was  placed  on  his  head. 
His  wonderful  fortitude  under  torture  has  made  his  name  a  popu- 
lar one  in  Hungary,  and  tradition  tells  how  Szapolyai  was  smitten 
with  blindness  for  two  years  as  a  punishment  for  his  cruelty. 

In  the  celebrated  work  presented  to  the  diet  in  15 14  by  Ver- 
boczy,  entitled  " Decretum  bipartitum  juris  consuetudinorii"  the 
public  law  of  Hungary  is  compiled.  This  work,  so  to  speak  the  last 
will  and  testament  of  independent  Hungary,  furnishes  ample  evi- 
dence of  the  wretched  social  conditions  which  underlay  the  kurucs 
and  the  numerous  revolts  that  convulsed  Hungary  at  this  time.  It 
recognizes  one  legal  class  only,  the  nobles,  descended  from  the  an- 
cient conquerors  of  the  soil.  As  for  the  Jobbagyones,  the  serfs, 
Verboczy  declares  that  the  revolt  under  Dosza  "  marks  them  forever 
as  infidels  and  condemns  them  to  perpetual  servitude." 

The  impotent  Vladislav  died  in  1515.  The  reign  of  his  infant 
son,  Louis  II.,  is  marked  by  two  great  catastrophes,  the  loss  of 
Belgrade,  in  15 16,  and  the  defeat  at  Mohacs,  in  1521.  The  young 
king  was  corrupt  and  dissolute  and  quite  incapable  of  governing, 
while  his  guardians  were  not  men  to  rise  to  the  occasion.  The 
finances  were   disorganized   and  the   nobles  quarreled   over  the 

WARS     WITH     THE     TURKS  169 


shreds  of  sovereignty  still  left.  These  disorders  were  of  great 
service  to  the  Turks.  While  Hungary  was  giving  herself  up  to 
anarchy,  Turkey  was  ruled  by  her  great  sovereign,  Suleiman  the 
Magnificent.  A  pretext  to  declare  war  was  afforded  him  by  the 
arrest  of  a  Turkish  subject  accused  of  being  a  spy.  He  assembled 
his  troops  at  Sophia,  captured  Shabats,  and  laid  siege  to  Belgrade. 
The  place  surrendered  in  1521,  and  the  key  to  the  Danube  became 
thenceforward  a  Turkish  fortress.  Even  in  the  presence  of  this 
danger  Hungary  remained  disunited  and  divided. 

Meanwhile  King  Louis  sought  help  on  all  sides.  To  the  king 
of  England  he  wrote,  "  If  help  from  your  Majesty  does  not  arrive 
promptly,  our  kingdom  is  lost,"  and  he  even  tried  to  induce  a 
Persian  prince  to  make  a  timely  diversion  in  the  extreme  East.  The 
Austrian  princes  offered  their  assistance,  but  they  were  too  feeble, 
even  when  combined  with  Hungary,  to  undertake  the  struggle  with 
Suleiman  the  Magnificent.  On  April  25,  1526,  Suleiman  had  started 
from  Constantinople  with  100,000  men  and  300  cannon.  He 
marched  not  only  against  Hungary,  but  also  against  the  empire, 
one  of  the  pretexts  of  the  expedition  being  the  captivity  of  Francis 
I.,  for  he  came,  he  said,  to  rescue  "  the  beg  of  France  "  from  the 
hands  of  his  enemies.  He  crossed  the  Save  near  Essek,  captured 
Peterwardein  and  came  up  with  the  Hungarians  at  Mohacs,  on  the 
right  bank  of  the  Danube.  The  Hungarians  were  commanded  by 
the  king  in  person,  assisted  by  Paul  Tomory,  archbishop  of  Ka- 
losca,  one  of  the  warlike  bishops  of  whom  Hungary  affords  many 
examples;  George  Szapolyai,  and  by  Peter  Pereny,  bishop  of 
Great  Varadin.  Pereny  wished  to  temporize  in  order  to  wait  the 
help  from  Croatia  and  Transylvania,  but  the  impetuous  Tomory 
led  to  a  decision  in  favor  of  immediate  action,  on  August  26,  1526. 
The  opening  of  the  battle  seemed  favorable  to  the  Hungarians, 
but  Suleiman  had  ordered  his  first  ranks  to  fall  back  before  the 
Hungarian  cavalry  that  the  main  body  might  then  close  in  on  them. 
Thus  deceived,  the  Magyars  were  overwhelmed  at  close  range  by 
the  Ottoman  artillery;  forced  to  retreat,  they  rushed  into  the 
marshy  lands,  where  many  were  engulfed.  The  king  was  lost, 
Tomory  was  slain,  7  prelates,  22  magnates,  and  22,000  men  re- 
mained dead  on  the  field.  The  road  to  Buda  was  now  open  to  the 
invaders,  and  laying  waste  the  country  on  their  way,  they  pushed 
on  to  the  Magyar  capital.  There  they  pillaged  and  destroyed  the 
rich  treasures  collected  by  Mathias  Corvinus,  sending  much  down 




the  Danube  to  enrich  and  adorn  Constantinople.  Little  by  little 
the  tide  of  invasion  ebbed,  leaving  behind  it  a  land  of  devastation 
and  ruin. 

With  the  death  of  Louis  IL  the  independent  existence  of 
Hungary  came  to  an  end.  Henceforward  it  was  to  oscillate  be- 
tween Austria  and  Turkey  for  a  century  and  a  half,  and  then  be 
entirely  under  Austrian  suzerainty  till  the  time  when  the  feeling  of 
nationality  had  become  sufficiently  strong  to  enable  it  to  be  once 
more  a  self-governing  nation. 





It.      : 

Chapter    XV 

THE   AUSTRIAN    EMPERORS.     1493-1740 

THE  real  greatness  of  the  house  of  Austria  dates  from  the 
reign  of  Maximilian  from  1493  to  15 19.  At  his  acces- 
sion he  united  under  his  rule  all  the  domains  of  his  fam- 
ily: Austria,  properly  so-called,  Styria,  Carinthia,  Camiola,  and 
the  Tyrol,  and  his  territories  reached  to  the  sea  at  Triest  and  Fiume. 
In  1500  he  inherited  Gorica,  Gradiska,  Mitterburg,  and  the  Puster- 
thal,  and  although  he  lost  the  seaports  on  the  Adriatic  in  his  war 
with  Venice  in  1509,  they  were  soon  recovered.  The  war  with 
the  Swiss  ended  less  fortunately  for  Austria.  After  a  severe  strug- 
gle, during  which  the  Confederates,  with  their  long  pikes  and  hal- 
berds, had  invaded  Austrian  Suabia  and  the  Tyrol,  destroyed 
over  two  hundred  villages  and  towns,  and  slain  more  than  twenty 
thousand  men,  Maximilian  agreed  to  the  peace  of  Basel  in  1499, 
by  which  the  Swiss  were  finally  released  from  all  obligations  to  the 
house  of  Hapsburg  and  the  emperor.  But  this  loss  was  really  a 
gain.  By  concentrating  her  power,  Austria  strengthened  herself. 
In  1505  Maximilian,  by  his  successful  intervention  in  the  disputes 
over  the  Bavarian  succession,  secured  a  number  of  towns  from  that 
state,  notably  Kufstein,  and  the  lordships  of  Rottenberg  and  Kitz- 
biihl,  giving  him  a  foothold  on  the  sources  of  the  Drave  and  the 
Isonzo.  Thus  at  this  time  the  Austrian  dominions  formed  a  sort 
of  half-circle,  touching  the  southern  frontier  of  Germany  from 
Silesia  to  Switzerland,  while  she  also  had  scattered  possessions  in 
Suabia,  Alsace,  and  the  Black  Forest.  Among  her  subjects  were 
Germans,  Slavs,  and  Italians;  but  then,  as  now,  the  Germans, 
thanks  to  the  proximity  of  Germany,  to  the  innate  tenacity  of  their 
race,  and  to  the  prestige  of  the  imperial  crown,  were  the  dominant 

The  most  important  event  in  these  hereditary  provinces  dur- 
ing Maximilian's  reign,  apart  from  the  invasions  of  the  Venetians, 
the  Swiss,  and  the  Turks,  was  the  peasants'  war  which  broke  out 
in  Camiola  in  15 15  and  rapidly  spread  throughout  the  neighbor- 
ing provinces.     Contemporaneous  with  the  revolt  of  Dosza,  in 




Hungary,  this  insurrection  also  was  caused  by  famine  and  the 
exactions  of  a  selfish  nobility.  The  Slovene  peasants  of  Carniola 
adopted  as  their  watchword  sfara  pravda — our  old  rights — and, 
like  the  Magyar  kurucs,  declared  that  they  revolted  not  against  the 
sovereign,  but  against  the  nobles.  The  insurrection  spread  rapidly, 
and,  if  contemporary  accounts  are  to  be  believed,  they  set  on  foot 
an  army  of  80,000  men,  spreading  terror  everywhere,  taking  cas- 
tles, and  hanging  nobles.  But  like  the  peasants'  revolt  in  connec- 
tion with  the  Lutheran  Reformation  a  little  later,  the  movement  was 
suppressed  with  ruthless  cruelty. 

Maximilian  was  always  in  need  of  money,  and  frequently 
summoned  the  diets  of  the  hereditary  provinces  to  ask  for  sub- 
sidies, which  were  often  refused.  The  provinces  were  poor,  but 
the  monarch  was  still  more  so,  and  out  of  his  necessity  he  was 
obliged  to  promise  not  to  make  war  without  the  consent  of  the 
estates.  Under  his  reign,  also,  the  provinces  were  drawn  more 
closely  together  by  the  organization  of  general  diets,  to  which  they 
sent  their  representatives,  as,  for  example,  the  diet  of  Wiener- 
Neustadt,  in  1502,  in  which  Upper  and  Lower  Austria,  Styria,  Ca- 
rinthia,  and  Carniola  were  all  represented. 

Many  of  the  affairs  of  Austria,  however,  during  the  reign  of 
Maximilian,  as  indeed  during  that  of  many  of  his  successors,  are 
intimately  wrapped  up  with  those  of  the  empire.  In  1493,  on  the 
death  of  his  father,  Frederick  IV.,  Maximilian  was  chosen  em- 
peror. He  hoped  to  make  the  imperial  dignity  hereditary  in  his 
family,  and  to  use  it  to  further  Hapsburg  interests.  These  he  be- 
lieved to  lie  in  the  acquisition  of  the  Netherlands,  regaining  Hun- 
gary and  Bohemia,  the  defeat  of  the  French  king  in  the  dispute 
over  the  rich  inheritance  of  the  dukes  of  Burgundy,  the  reassertion 
of  his  claims  in  Italy,  and  the  admission  of  Austria  into  the  elec- 
toral college.  The  electors,  who  were  deeply  impressed  at  this  time 
with  the  need  of  reforms  within  the  empire,  gave  him  but  a  luke- 
warm support,  and,  on  the  matter  of  admitting  a  new  member  into 
their  college,  refused  flatly  to  comply  with  his  wishes.  Thus  the 
Hapsburgs,  although  for  centuries  the  wearers  of  the  imperial 
crown,  were  excluded  from  the  body  which  conferred  it,  though 
they  later  entered  the  electoral  college  as  kings  of  Bohemia.  Nev- 
ertheless, Maximilian  continued  his  other  projects,  and  lost  no  op- 
portunity of  identifying  the  interests  of  his  family  with  those  of 
Germany.     Before  a  diet  held  in  1506  he  declared  that  he  hoped 

(^     !-" 

<     ^ 

'Z    -o 



some  day  to  add  the  crowns  of  Bohemia  and  Hungary  to  the 
empire,  if  he  were  properly  aided. 

It  is  chiefly  through  his  wise  family  alliances  that  he  con- 
tributed so  much  toward  the  increase  in  prestige  and  power  of  the 
house  of  Austria.  By  his  own  marriage  with  Mary  of  Burgundy, 
in  1477,  he  had  prepared  the  way  for  the  extensive  dominions  of 
Charles  V.  and  the  acquisition  of  possessions  and  influence  in  the 
Netherlands,  Burgundy,  and  Italy.  By  the  marriage  alliances  en- 
tered into  with  the  reigning  houses  in  Bohemia  and  Hungary  he 
laid  the  basis  for  the  Austrian  state  as  it  exists  to-day,  and  to  no 
Hapsburg  ruler  is  the  well-known  distich  more  applicable  than  to 
Maximilian : 

Bella  gerant  fortes:  tu  felix  Austria  nube; 
Nam  quce  Mars  aliis,  dat  tibi  regna  Venus. 

In  15 1 5  the  marriage  of  his  grandchildren,  Ferdinand  and 
Mary,  with  Louis  and  Anne,  the  children  of  Vladislav,  king  of  Bo- 
hemia and  Hungary,  was  arranged,  and  at  this  time  Vladislav  and 
his  brother,  Sigismund,  king  of  Poland,  paid  a  visit  to  Vienna, 
during  which  the  ancient  treaties  of  inheritance  between  Austria, 
Hungary,  and  Bohemia  were  renewed.  Thanks  in  a  large  meas- 
ure to  these  treaties,  Austria  was  to  become  the  dominant  power 
in  the  middle  Danube,  and  the  house  of  Hapsburg  unite  under  its 
scepter  Bohemia  and  Hungary  as  well  as  Austria.  Unfortunately 
the  role  she  thus  came  to  play  in  European  matters  from  the  six- 
teenth century  onward  has  too  often  led  historians  to  forget  the 
internal  history  of  the  peoples  with  whom  her  destinies  have  since 
been  so  closely  associated. 

Maximilian  died  in  15 19,  and  was  buried  at  Innsbruck,  his 
favorite  residence,  for  he  was  a  great  hunter  and  passionately 
fond  of  the  mountains  of  the  Tyrol.  Of  all  the  Austrian  sov- 
ereigns none  since  Rudolf  has  lived  so  long  in  the  popular 
memory.  He  himself  contributed  to  perpetuate  his  name  with  pos- 
terity through  the  two  poems,  "  Theiierdank  "  and  "  Weiss  Konig/' 
which  he  inspired  and  perhaps  wrote  in  part.  He  was  fond  of 
artists  and  learned  men,  and  became  the  patron  of  the  SodalitaS 
Danuhiana,  a  kind  of  academy  founded  at  Vienna  by  the  human- 
ist Konrad  Celtes.  Indeed,  Vienna  and  Austria  enjoyed  a 
renaissance  of  learning  and  culture  during  his  reign.  It  is  the 
age  of  the  German  renaissance  of  Erasmus  and  Hutten  of  the  ac- 



tivity  of  the  newly  discovered  art  of  printing,  and  of  all  that  great 
social  and  economic  unrest  that  preceded  the  Reformation. 

Maximilian  was  twice  married,  but  had  only  one  legitimate 
son,  Philip  the  Handsome,  born  to  him  by  Mary  of  Burgundy. 
Philip  married  Joanna  the  Insane,  daughter  of  Ferdinand  and 
Isabella  of  Spain.  He  died  in  1500,  leaving  two  sons,  Charles  and 
Ferdinand,  to  divide  the  empire  of  Europe,  and  carry  the  name  of 
Austria  to  the  savannahs  of  the  New  World. 

On  the  death  of  Maximilian  I.  his  two  grandsons,  who  had 
been  reared  and  educated  away  from  Austria,  Charles  in  the  Low 
Countries,  Ferdinand  in  Spain,  fell  heir  to  his  possessions. 
Charles  was  elected  emperor  in  1519,  and  two  years  later,  in  1521, 
he  came  to  an  agreement  with  his  brother  concerning  a  division  of 
their  lands.  By  this  settlement  Charles  V.  conferred  on  his  brother 
all  the  Austrian  possessions  with  the  title  of  lieutenant  of  the  em- 
pire, reserving  to  himself  that  of  duke  of  Austria.  This  prince, 
one-half  Spaniard,  was  not  received  with  confidence  in  a  country 
where  he  was  so  little  known,  and  the  foreign  advisers  whom  he 
brought  with  him  were  extremely  unpopular.  Disturbances  arose 
in  Vienna,  but  were  suppressed  and  the  two  ringleaders  executed. 
On  May  27,  1521,  at  Linz,  Ferdinand  celebrated  his  marriage  with 
the  Princess  Anne,  sister  of  Louis,  king  of  Bohemia  and  Hungary, 
and  at  the  same  time  Louis,  then  aged  fifteen,  married  Mary,  the 
sister  of  Ferdinand,  thus  carrying  into  execution  the  wise  matri- 
monial plans  of  Maximilian. 

The  name  of  Ferdinand  I.  is  completely  obscured  by  that  of 
Charles  V.,  but  in  reality  Ferdinand's  reign  marks  the  beginning 
of  a  state  which  plays  an  important  part  in  the  destinies  of  Europe 
even  to-day,  while  only  the  memory  of  the  wide  dominions  of 
Charles  V.  remains.  The  Spanish  branch  of  the  house  of  Haps- 
burg  attained  its  highest  power  at  the  Treaty  of  Chateau-Cambresis 
in  1559,  while  the  Treaty  of  Vervins,  in  1598,  already  marks  its 
decline.  The  power  of  the  Austrian  branch,  on  the  other  hand, 
owing  to  its  possession  of  the  hereditary  states,  Bohemia,  Hun- 
gary, and  after  1558  the  imperial  crown,  increased  steadily. 

In  1526,  at  the  death  of  Louis  at  Mohacs,  Ferdinand  became 
king  of  Bohemia  and  Hungary.  At  his  coronation  at  Prague  and 
at  Buda  he  swore  to  maintain  the  rights  and  privileges  of  the  two 
kingdoms.  Five  years  later  he  was  elected  king  of  the  Romans, 
in  spite  of  the  opposition  of  the  Protestants,  and  in  1558  emperor. 




From  this  time  the  imperial  crown,  with  one  unimportant  excep- 
tion, remained  in  the  house  of  Austria.  A  staunch  CathoHc,  Ferdi- 
nand opposed  the  Reformation,  and  did  all  in  his  power  to  prevent 
the  movement  from  entering  his  dominions.  As  was  the  case  in 
Germany,  it  coincided  with  a  formidable  peasants'  war;  Salzburg", 
Styria,  and  the  Tyrol  rose  in  insurrection,  and  a  popular  assembly 
which  met  at  Meran  drew  up  a  manifesto  the  boldness  and  audacity 

of  which  astonish  us  even  to-day.  "  In  the  Tyrol,"  says  this  docu- 
ment, "  there  will  be  henceforth  but  one  law,  and  that  the  law  of 
the  land;  there  shall  be  no  Roman  law,  foreign  and  unintelligible 
to  the  poor  people.  The  government  sitting  at  Innsbruck  shall  be 
composed  only  of  natives.  There  shall  be  no  distinction  of  per- 
son before  the  tribunals.  Bishops,  monasteries,  and  begging  friars 
shall  be  suppressed ;  priests  shall  not  be  allowed  to  hold  more  than 
one  living.     The  surplus  of  the  revenues  of  the  church  shall  be 



devoted  to  the  needs  of  the  poor.  The  estates  of  the  clergy  shall 
be  secularized  and  the  revenues  of  the  monasteries  shall  be  collected 
by  the  servants  of  the  king  and  employed  for  the  public  good.  The 
king  may  choose  only  his  financial  agents,  all  officers  of  justice  shall 
be  appointed  and  dismissed  by  the  people.  Fishing  and  hunting 
shall  be  free  to  everyone,  the  great  trading  companies  shall  be 
dissolved  in  order  that  the  prices  of  commodities  may  be  decreased. 
All  custom  houses  except  those  belonging  to  the  crown  shall  be 
suppressed;  likewise  the  seigneurial  dues  and  forced  labor.  Uni- 
formity of  weights  and  coinage  shall  be  decreed."  The  peasants 
also  took  great  pains  to  declare  that  they  fought  against  the  priv- 
ileged orders  and  not  against  the  king.  Ferdinand  was  obliged  to 
yield.  He  granted  pardon  to  the  insurgents  and  the  execution  of 
those  clauses  of  the  articles  of  Meran  which  did  not  affect  the 
property  of  the  church. 

The  Reformation  made  rapid  progress  in  other  hereditary 
provinces.  In  Austria  proper  there  were  ardent  disciples  as  early 
as  1520,  and  thirty  years  later  the  procession  of  Corpus  Christi 
could  not  be  held  at  Vienna.  Two  hundred  parishes  had  no  priests, 
and  268  had  become  Protestant.  The  same  progress  was  made 
in  Styria;  in  1552  the  procession  of  Corpus  Christi  was  suppressed 
at  Gratz.  In  Carniola,  among  the  Slovenes,  one  result  of  the  Ref- 
ormation was  the  emancipation  of  the  national  language;  several 
theological  works  were  printed  in  Slavic  at  Tubingen  under  the 
direction  of  Primus  Truber,  who  also  undertook  the  translation  of 
the  Bible  into  the  native  tongue.  The  new  doctrines  penetrated 
as  far  as  Triest  and  Gorica,  and  in  the  Tyrol  the  Anabaptists 
almost  succeeded  in  causing  another  uprising  among  the  peasants. 
On  several  occasions  the  diets  themselves  gave  expression  to  the 
need  for  liberty  of  conscience,  and  Ferdinand,  who  had  begun  by 
forbidding  the  use  of  Luther's  Bible,  was  obliged  finally  to  allow 
communion  in  both  kinds. 

But  the  spread  of  the  Reformation  was  not  to  continue  long 
without  more  serious  and  better  organized  opposition.  At  the 
famous  Council  of  Trent,  which  met  in  the  Tyrol  from  1545  to 
1563,  under  the  protection  of  Ferdinand,  the  doctrines  of  the  Cath- 
olics were  clearly  formulated,  and  in  1547  Ferdinand  set  up  a  cen- 
sorship of  the  press  in  his  dominions.  About  the  same  time  the 
Society  of  Jesus  was  founded  for  the  special  object  of  combating 
the  Reformation,  and  it  was  not  slow  in  entering  the  Austrian  lands. 



for  in  1552  the  Jesuits  established  themselves  in  Vienna,  in  1560 
in  the  Tyrol,  and  in  1564  in  Styria. 

But  the  religious  difficulties  were  not  the  only  troubles  Ferdi- 
nand experienced.  He  had  to  witness  the  ravaging  of  his  territories 
by  the  Turks;  Vienna  was  besieged  in  1529,  and  thirty  years  later 
Camiola  was  devastated  by  them.  Amid  all  these  difficulties 
Ferdinand  had  the  satisfaction  of  seeing  his  son  Maximilian 
chosen  king  of  the  Romans  and  to  have  him  crowned  king  of  Bo- 
hemia and  Hungary.  The  principle  of  primogeniture  had  not  been 
fully  established  in  the  house  of  Austria,  and  Ferdinand  divided 
the  hereditary  states  among  his  three  sons,  Maximilian  getting 
Austria,  Ferdinand  the  Tyrol,  and  Charles  Styria,  Carinthia,  and 

Ferdinand  died  in  1564.  He  has  been  praised  by  many.  He 
had  received  an  excellent  education;  he  knew  Spanish,  French,  and 
German,  and  he  was  fond  of  men  of  letters  and  science.  Although 
a  devout  Catholic,  he  was  not  a  fanatic,  and  might  in  other  times 
have  made  a  good  ruler  for  the  hereditary  provinces.  But  imbued 
with  the  idea  of  absolutism,  he  could  not  understand  the  constitu- 
tions of  Bohemia  and  of  Hungary.  In  Bohemia  especially  his 
memory  is  detested.  From  his  reign  dates  the  High  Council  of 
.War,  the  first  institution  common  to  the  whole  group  of  states. 

Maximilian  H.  was  a  tolerant  and  liberal-minded  prince  for 
his  time.  His  preceptors  had  been  the  learned  Wolfgan  Schiefer 
(Severus)  and  Collatin,  who  were  secretly  attached  to  Protestant- 
ism. It  was  in  order  to  correct  their  influence  that  Ferdinand 
sent  the  young  prince  to  Spain  and  he  even  talked  of  excluding 
him  from  the  succession. 

When  Maximilian  assumed  the  reins  of  government  in  1564 
he  had  already  shown  his  goodwill  toward  the  Reformation,  and 
this  policy  he  continued  during  his  reign.  He  corresponded  with 
Melanchthon,  and  even  maintained  a  Lutheran  preacher  at  his 
court,  greatly  arousing  the  suspicion  and  anxiety  of  the  court  at 
Rome.  When  the  news  of  the  massacre  of  St.  Bartholomew 
reached  him  he  denounced  the  perpetrators  in  no  unmeasured  terms. 
Nevertheless,  he  declined  to  yield  to  the  request  of  the  estates  of 
Austria  to  expel  the  Jesuits,  and  would  allow  the  nobles  only  to 
practice  the  Reformed  religion,  refusing  to  grant  liberty  of  con- 
science to  the  towns.  He  had  married  his  cousin,  Mary,  the  daugh- 
ter of  Charles  V.,  who,  faithful  to  her  Spanish  blood,  brought  up 



their  children  with  a  horror  of  heresy.  Two  of  his  sons,  Rudolf 
and  Mathias,  reigned  after  him.  The  former  he  had  caused  to 
be  crowned  king  of  Hungary  in  1572  and  of  Bohemia  in  1575. 

Rudolf  n.  was  more  mindful  of  the  zealous  devotion  of  his 
mother  than  of  the  tolerance  of  his  father.  In  more  than  one 
respect  he  resembled  Philip  II.,  for  he  had  the  fierce  fanaticism  and 
the  morose  disposition  of  that  prince,  though  he  lacked  his  strength 
of  will.  He  has  become  notorious  for  his  love  for  the  occult  sci- 
ences, and  for  his  obstinate  indolence.  Prague,  which  owes  to  him 
much  of  its  splendor,  he  chose  as  his  place  of  residence,  and  there 
he  lived  in  retirement  in  his  castle  of  Hradcany,  surrounded  by 
astronomers  and  astrologers,  among  whom  were  Tycho-Brahe. 
But  the  dangerous  fancies  of  this  weak  emperor  ended  by  disturb- 
ing his  reason,  and  his  brothers  decided  to  proclaim  Mathias  head 
of  the  family.  In  1608  he  was  given  the  title  of  governor  of 
Austria,  Moravia,  and  Hungary. 

In  the  hereditary  provinces  the  reign  of  Rudolf  was  marked 
by  a  peasant  war,  caused  by  the  agrarian  difficulties  and  the  de- 
mand for  liberty  of  conscience,  the  two  causes  of  discontent  which 
are  intimately  associated  with  each  other  during  this  period.  But 
the  Jesuits  and  the  upper  clergy  worked  hard  to  suppress  the  de- 
mand for  reform,  and  the  spirit  of  their  methods  is  well  illustrated 
by  the  following  couplet  addressed  to  the  emperor  in  1581 : 

Utere  jure  tuo,  Casar,  servosgue  Lutheri 
Ense,  rota,  ponto,  funibus,  igne  neca! 

In  Styria  the  Archduke  Charles  was  no  less  zealous  to  restore 
Catholicism.  He  established  the  Jesuits  at  Gratz,  and  by  1572  the 
religious  processions,  suppressed  twenty  years  before,  were  resumed. 
The  protests  of  the  Lutheran  nobility  were  ignored,  and  the 
counter-reformation  progressed  rapidly.  A  Catholic  printing-press 
was  set  up  at  Gratz,  and  a  Jesuit  university,  which  exists  still,  was 
founded  there  in  1586.  The  nobles  were  compelled  to  send  their 
children  there  for  instruction  under  pain  of  disgrace  and  punish- 
ment, while  they  were,  at  the  same  time,  forbidden  to  allow  their 
children  to  attend  the  heretical  schools  of  Germany.  But  the 
burghers,  peasants,  and  diets  harassed  the  archduke  incessantly 
with  their  petitions,  and  he  died  in  1591  of  weariness  and  chagrin. 
His  work  was  continued  by  his  successor,  Ferdinand,  afterward  em- 



peror  and  king  of  Bohemia  and  Hungary.  On  a  pilgrimage  to 
Loretto  this  prince  had  taken  a  vow  to  exterminate  heresy,  and  he 
remained  true  to  his  word.  He  began  by  driving  the  Protestant 
preachers  from  Gratz  and  other  towns,  then  he  seized  their  schools, 
burned  their  books,  and  compelled  all  members  of  the  Reformed 
religion  to  sell  their  property  and  emigrate.  The  Capuchins  were 
sent  for  to  help  the  Jesuits  to  lead  the  people  back  to  the  faith. 
Later  on  Ferdinand  had  an  opportunity  to  apply  these  methods  of 
conversion  on  a  larger  scale  in  Bohemia. 

In  Austria  the  Archduke  Mathias  was  obliged  to  treat  with 
the  estates  and  to  renew  the  agreements  of  Maximilian,  which 
granted  liberty  of  conscience  on  the  seigneurial  estates,  but  not  in 
the  towns.  In  the  Tyrol  the  Archduke  Ferdinand,  who  must  not 
be  confused  with  Emperor  Ferdinand  II.,  labored  with  equal 
energy  for  the  restoration  of  Catholicism.  But  his  administration 
was  good.  The  province  owed  to  him  the  Landesordnung,  a  code 
of  laws  which  remained  in  force  for  more  than  two  centuries,  an 
improved  system  of  coinage,  and  wise  measures  for  the  development 
of  commerce  and  industry. 

Rudolf,  whose  weak  mind  had,  as  we  have  seen,  led  his  broth- 
ers to  assume  the  administration  of  his  affairs,  never  married,  and 
he  was  succeeded  in  1612,  in  Austria,  Bohemia,  and  Hungary,  by 
Mathias.  The  latter's  thirst  for  power  and  constant  activity  stand 
in  striking  contrast  with  the  indolence  of  his  brother,  but  he  was 
devoid  of  greatness.  The  chief  interest  of  the  reign  of  Mathias 
centers  in  the  beginning  of  the  Thirty  Years'  War.  Without  direct 
heirs,  his  principal  concern  was  to  secure  his  inheritance  to  his 
family.  He  chose  his  cousin,  Ferdinand,  of  the  Styrian  branch, 
as  his  heir,  and  obtained  an  act  of  renunciation  from  his  brothers, 
Albert  and  Maximilian,  and  from  the  king  of  Spain,  The  Bo- 
hemian and  Hungarian  estates  ratified  this  agreement  and  Ferdi- 
nand was  crowned  in  the  two  kingdoms. 

It  may  seem  somewhat  surprising  that  this  transaction 
should  have  been  so  readily  accepted  in  Bohemia  and  Hungary, 
but  it  should  be  remembered  that  in  all  essentially  aristocratic 
countries  the  nobles  prefer  to  obey  a  stranger  to  one  of  themselves, 
even  if  the  latter  were  a  Mathias  Corvinus  or  a  Podiebrad.  Be- 
sides, there  was  the  constant  menace  of  a  Mussulman  invasion,  and 
both  countries  instinctively  felt  that  it  was  to  their  interest  to  se- 
cure the  support  of  the  princes  of  a  house  already  powerful  by 



itself,  and  who  could,  in  case  of  necessity,  bring  to  their  assistance 
the  forces  of  all  of  Germany.  Unfortunately,  the  Hapsburgs  were 
overzealous  as  protectors  of  Catholicism,  neglected  the  interests 
of  Bohemia  and  Hungary,  and  associated  themselves  completely 
with  Catholic  intolerance.  Adherents  of  the  reform  doctrines, 
whether  of  Huss,  Luther,  or  Calvin,  were  as  hateful  to  them  as  the 
Turks.  Besides,  they  identified  all  spirit  of  independence  with 
heresy,  and  ruthlessly  crushed  out  liberty,  making  absolutism  the 
basis  of  their  policy. 

Ferdinand  II.  (1618-1637),  a  fervent  Catholic  and  a  despot, 
was  the  first  and  one  of  the  best  examples  of  this  class  of  Austrian 
rulers.  He  had  been  educated  at  Ingolstadt  under  the  direction  of 
the  Jesuits  and  his  pious  uncle,  William  of  Bavaria,  and  had  at 
different  times  expressed  his  desire  to  become  a  Jesuit  himself. 
His  policy  in  Styria,  noted  above,  shows  how  he  carried  the  pre- 
cepts of  his  instruction  into  practice.  Bohemia  and  Hungary 
afforded  a  much  larger  field  for  his  religious  ardor.  His  reign  was 
a  golden  age  for  the  Catholic  church  in  Austria.  He  founded  six- 
teen Jesuit  colleges,  besides  numerous  convents  for  the  Barnabites, 
Capuchins,  Carmelites,  Augustines,  and  Benedictines,  at  the  same 
time  greatly  increasing  the  estates  of  the  clergy.  Outwardly  a 
strict  observer  of  the  Christian  virtues,  Ferdinand  was  always  prac- 
ticing ostentatious  acts  of  charity  in  matters  not  touching  the 
treatment  of  heretics.  His  second  son,  Leopold  William,  was 
destined  for  the  church,  and  at  the  age  of  eleven  was  already 
possessed  of  two  bishoprics  and  four  abbeys.  Under  Ferdinand  all 
the  hereditary  provinces  had  again  been  united,  but  in  1623  he 
ceded  the  Tyrol  to  his  brother  Leopold,  who  married  the  beautiful 
and  talented  Claudia  de*  Medici. 

Ferdinand  II.  naturally  assumed  the  leadership  of  the  Cath- 
olic party  in  the  Thirty  Years'  War,  and  at  his  death,  in  1637, 
bequeathed  this  enormous  struggle  to  his  successor,  Ferdinand  III. 
(1637-1657).  This  war  was  to  strike  a  rude  blow  at  the  prestige 
of  the  house  of  Austria  in  Germany.  It  was  during  its  progress 
that  the  remarkable  pamphlet  on  the  Holy  Roman  Empire,  by 
Hippolytus  a  Lapide  (Philip  Chemnitz),  appeared.  According  to 
this  famous  pamphlet  the  only  way  of  saving  the  empire  from 
certain  ruin  was  to  exclude  Austria  from  Germany.  She  had  never 
exercised  any  but  a  disastrous  influence  there;  she  had  become 
powerful  at  the  expense  of  the  empire,  and  she  ought  now  to  allow 



Germany  to  form  a  federation  without  her,  under  the  tutelage  of 
France  or  Sweden.  The  Peace  of  Westphalia,  in  1648,  in  assuring 
liberty  of  conscience  to  Gemiany,  made  no  stipulations  for  the  sub- 
jects of  Austria,  excepting  the  Silesians,  among  whom  the  exten- 
sive spread  of  Protestantism  was  to  be  an  important  factor  in  the 
later  separation  of  that  province  from  Austria  and  its  assimilation 
by  Prussia.  In  the  hereditary  provinces  the  counter-reformation 
was  continued  with  greater  energy  than  ever.  But  in  spite  of  its 
efforts,  sympathy  for  the  Reformation  continued,  particularly  in 
Upper  Austria,  and  a  number  of  families  of  the  noble  class  emi- 
grated to  secure  liberty  of  conscience.  Uprisings  by  the  peasants 
were  ruthlessly  suppressed.  Yet  Ferdinand  III.  was  not  cruel  or 
wanting  in  intelligence.  The  Venetian  ambassador  in  his  corre- 
spondence represents  him  as  an  enlightened,  gentle,  and  moderate 
sovereign.  He  simply  carried  out  the  ideas  of  his  age  and  the  tra- 
ditions of  his  family.  The  early  death  of  his  oldest  son,  Ferdi- 
nand, left  the  succession  to  his  second  son,  Leopold,  whose  long 
reign,  from  1657  to  1705,  occupies  the  second  half  of  the  seventeenth 

At  the  accession  of  Leopold  I.  the  Austrian  state  was  much 
smaller  than  at  present.  Galicia  still  belonged  to  Poland  and  the 
Dalmatian  shore  to  the  republic  of  Venice;  the  Tyrol  to  a  cadet 
branch  of  the  house  of  Austria,  and  scarcely  a  third  of  dismem- 
bered Hungary  yielded  obedience  to  the  king.  On  the  other  hand, 
Bohemia  still  included  most  of  Silesia.  But  Leopold  soon  acquired 
the  Tyrol,  while  the  victories  of  Eugene  secured  for  him  nearly  all 
of  Hungary,  Croatia,  Slavonia,  and  Transylvania.  Altogether  the 
Austrian  dominions,  which  numbered  only  6800  square  miles  at 
Leopold's  accession,  had  been  increased  to  9100  at  his  death. 

And  yet  this  prince,  who  thus  increased  his  inheritance  by  a 
third,  was  not  of  a  warlike  temperament,  and  never  commanded 
an  army.  He  had  been  educated  by  the  Jesuits  Miiller  and  Neid- 
hard,  and  was  to  have  entered  the  church.  He  brought  to  the 
throne  the  merits  and  defects  of  his  early  training,  great  purity 
of  life,  extreme  humility,  and  a  spirit  of  inexorable  intolerance. 
He  had  absolutely  no  decision  of  character  and  followed  the  ad- 
vice of  the  most  divergent  councilors,  especially  of  his  Jesuit  con- 
fessor, Miiller,  whom  Puffendorf  calls  "  a  pedant  of  the  schools 
who  understood  nothing  of  practical  affairs."  He  led  a  melan- 
choly, monotonous  life  in  his  castle  at  Vienna,  only  partially  re- 



lieved  by  the  study  of  music,  painting,  literature,  and  some  of  the 
mechanical  arts.  More  than  once  placards  were  found  on  the  doors 
of  the  palace  which  implored  him  to  be  a  Caesar,  not  a  musician  or  a 
Jesuit.  "  In  Leopold,"  says  Sayous,  "  were  united  and  intensified 
all  the  faults  of  his  ancestors,  without  any  of  their  greatness.  The 
haughty  Austrian  lip  had  become  a  real  deformity  in  him  and 
made  him  look  like  a  veritable  caricature  of  Charles  V.  Leopold 
founded  two  universities,  one  at  Breslau,  the  other  at  Innsbruck. 
He  reformed  the  courts  of  justice,  substituted  the  German  for  the 
Latin  language,  and  organized  a  regular  police  in  Vienna. 

Leaving  aside  the  part  played  by  Leopold  as  emperor  in  the 
affairs  of  Europe,  his  reign  in  Austria  presents  but  one  event  of 
importance,  the  siege  of  Vienna  by  the  Turks.  In  1683  the  grand 
vizier,  Kara  Mustapha,  supported  by  the  Hungarians,  marched 
upon  Vienna.  The  emperor,  with  his  family  and  the  court,  and 
the  larger  part  of  the  nobility,  hastily  withdrew  to  Linz,  leaving 
the  capital  with  a  feeble  garrison  and  dismantled  fortifications. 
Under  such  circumstances  it  seemed  as  if  it  could  not  hold  out  long, 
but  Duke  Charles  of  Lorraine  and  Count  Stahrenberg  exerted 
every  effort  to  put  it  in  a  state  of  defense,  and  the  inhabitants  dis- 
played a  courage  bordering  on  the  heroic.  Students,  merchants, 
and  citizens  turned  soldiers  and  themselves  burned  the  outskirts  of 
the  city  lest  they  should  be  used  as  shelter  by  the  enemy. 

The  Turks  were  soon  masters  of  the  outer  works,  and  after 
establishing  a  magnificent  camp,  settled  down  to  a  regfular  siege. 
At  least  eighteen  attempts  were  made  to  take  the  city  by  storm. 
The  situation  became  rapidly  desperate ;  added  to  the  danger  from 
without  was  the  steadily  approaching  famine  within.  Fortunately 
the  great  Polish  king  and  hero,  John  Sobieski,  whose  very  name 
was  already  a  terror  to  the  Turks,  appeared  in  time  to  save  the 
city  from  its  terrible  fate.  Supported  by  the  Pope,  Innocent  XI., 
Sobieski  succeeded  in  persuading  the  Polish  diet  to  send  its  army 
against  the  Turks.  Sobieski,  knowing  the  peril  of  Vienna,  at  once 
pushed  forward  by  forced  marches  to  its  relief.  On  the  Danube 
he  was  joined  by  the  army  of  the  duke  of  Lorraine  and  the  contin- 
gents from  Saxony  and  Bavaria,  and  when  he  reached  Vienna  he 
had  about  80,000  men  under  his  command.  On  September  12  he 
appeared  on  the  heights  of  the  Kahlenberg.  The  attack  was  at 
once  made;  the  shock  was  terrible.  The  infidel  gave  way,  Kara 
Mustapha  fled,  and  more  than  20,000  Turks  perished. 



The  next  day  the  conqueror  entered  Vienna,  enthusiastically 
greeted  by  the  populace,  which  had  witnessed  the  departure  of  the 
emperor  with  much  indignation.  On  September  15  Leopold  in  his 
turn  came  back  to  the  capital,  and  soon  the  meanness  of  his  char- 
acter manifested  itself.  More  jealous  of  Sobieski  than  grateful 
for  his  help,  he  at  first  avoided  an  interview,  and  then  ended  by 
contriving  means  of  humiliating  his  benefactor.  He  wasted  much 
time  trying  to  determine  how  an  emperor  ought  to  receive  the  elected 
king  of  the  Polish  republic.  "  With  open  arms,"  the  duke  of 
Lorraine  had  replied;  but  to  Leopold  the  great  question  was 
whether  he  should  stand  to  the  right  or  to  the  left.  The  interview 
at  length  took  place  in  the  open  field,  and  it  was  decided  that  the 
two  sovereigns  should  stand  facing  each  other.  After  the  ex- 
change of  a  few  commonplaces,  Sobieski  rode  off,  saying  he  would 
direct  his  generals  to  show  the  emperor  his  army  if  it  would 
please  him. 

In  his  letters  to  Maria  Kazimira,  his  wife,  he  tells  with  elo- 
quence and  much  bitterness  the  painful  impression  made  upon  him 
by  Austrian  ingratitude.  "  The  palatine  of  Red  Russia,"  he  wrote, 
"  displayed  cur  army ,  to  the  emperor,  but  our  people  are  much 
annoyed  and  complain  loudly  because  the  emperor  did  not  deign 
to  thank  them  even  by  a  bow  for  all  the  pains  and  privations  they 
have  undergone.  They  give  us  neither  forage  nor  provisions ;  our 
sick  are  lying  on  dunghills,  and  our  many  wounded  cannot  obtain 
boats  to  carry  them  down  to  Presburg,  where  I  could  more  easily 
provide  for  them  at  my  own  cost.  They  will  not  bury  our  dead  in 
their  cemeteries,  not  even  the  superior  officers.  .  .  .  They 
steal  our  baggage  and  carry  off  those  of  our  horses  which  are  in  the 
rear.  Except  for  the  oats  found  in  the  camp  of  the  Turks,  all  our 
horses  must  have  perished.  We  should  be  less  miserable  if  they 
constructed  a  bridge  across  the  Danube  and  allowed  us  to  go  and  live 
among  our  enemies.  There  we  would  at  least  find  provisions :  but 
here  these  Viennese  gentlemen  put  off  everything  from  one  day  to 
another,  and  now  that  they  are  saved  give  themselves  up  to  the  ex- 
cesses for  which  God  had  rightly  punished  them.  Because  many 
of  our  men,  on  account  of  the  lack  of  provisions  in  the  country, 
hurried  to  the  city  to  find  food,  the  commandant  has  given  orders 
to  exclude  them  and  to  fire  upon  them.  After  so  great  a  battle, 
in  which  we  have  lost  so  many  people  of  our  most  illustrious  fam- 
ilies,  we   are  treated  like   plague-stricken   men   whom   everyone 



avoids.  Nothing  remains  but  to  see  our  army  waste  away,  not 
under  the  blows  of  the  enemy,  but  by  the  fault  of  those  who  owe 
us  all.  So  I  shall  march  away  to-day,  perhaps  to  find  a  greater 
famine,  but  I  wish  to  get  away  from  Vienna,  where  they  fire  upon 
my  men.  We  are  here  upon  the  banks  of  the  Danube,  like  the 
Israelites  formerly  on  the  shores  of  the  Euphrates.  We  weep  for 
the  loss  of  our  horses,  for  the  ingratitude  of  those  whom  we  have 
saved,  and  for  so  many  chances  of  victory  lost.  Finally,  everybody 
is  discouraged  and  some  even  go  so  far  as  to  regret  that  we  brought 
aid  to  the  emperor  at  all." 

After  leaving  the  emperor  at  Vienna  Sobieski  pursued  the 
Turks  into  Hungary  and  captured  Gran,  and  in  December  he  re- 
entered Cracow. 

Before  taking  up  the  reign  of  Joseph  L,  it  is  important  to 
study  briefly  the  general  organization  of  Austria  under  Leopold. 
All  political  and  judicial  matters  were  at  this  time  intrusted  to  a 
Council  of  State  or  Secret  Conference,  matters  of  finance  and  com- 
merce to  the  Court  Chamber  (Hofkammer),  and  war  to  the  Coun- 
cil of  War.  But  the  powers  of  the  different  councils  were  not  very 
clearly  defined.  The  Secret  Conference  never  numbered  more  than 
twelve  members.  It  assisted  the  emperor  in  all  important  matters. 
The  practice  of  intrusting  ministers  with  special  departments  did 
not  yet  exist.  There  was  no  minister  of  foreign  affairs  and  all  nego- 
tiations were  conducted  with  a  slowness  that  had  become  proberbial. 
"  Vienna  vult  expectari "  was  a  widespread  proverb  in  the  diplo- 
matic world.  Nor  could  any  member  of  the  council  ever  boast  of 
having  as  much  influence  with  the  emperor  as  any  one  of  his 
numerous  confessors. 

The  High  Council  of  War  had  been  established  in  1556,  and 
under  Leopold  it  was  composed  of  about  a  dozen  members,  pre- 
sided over  by  a  president.  At  the  head  of  the  army  was  a  lieuten- 
ant general  dependent  upon  the  council.  At  the  beginning  of  the 
reign  Austria  did  not  yet  possess  a  standing  army.  The  celebrated 
General  Montecuculli  was  the  first  to  demand  that  one  should  be 
organized,  and  although  his  wishes  were  not  conceded,  he  never- 
theless induced  the  emperor  not  to  disband  all  the  troops  after  a 
war,  and  to  make  some  effort  to  retain  veterans  in  the  service. 

The  army,  not  counting  the  garrisons  or  the  Hungarian  and 
Croatian  troops,  numbered  on  an  average  about  30,000  men.  In  the 
Turkish  wars  from  50,000  to  90,000  were  put  in  the  field,  but  of 



these  the  German  princes  furnished  from  20,000  to  30,000.  After 
1680  the  continuance  of  war  had  for  its  immediate  result  the 
permanence  of  the  army,  and  its  organization  along  definite  lines. 
The  first  infantry  regiment  dates  from  1680,  and  by  1705  there  were 
twenty  regiments  of  cuirassiers,  eleven  of  dragoons,  and  thirty-six 
of  infantry,  besides  the  irregular  troops.  An  infantry  regiment 
numbered  from  2000  to  2500  men,  those  of  the  cavalry  from  500  to 
1000.  Recruiting  was  done,  as  elsewhere  throughout  Europe  at 
this  time,  by  recruiting  officers  and  sergeants  who  allured  men  to 
becoming  soldiers  by  the  promise  of  money  and  booty.  In  case  of 
extraordinary  need  the  provincial  diets  voted  special  levies,  and 
vagabonds  and  prisoners  of  war  were  forcibly  enrolled.  Old  sol- 
diers married  and  brought  up  their  children  in  the  profession  of 
arms,  so  that  oftentimes  three  generations  might  be  found  in 
the  ranks,  while  the  armies  were  always  followed  by  an  immense 
number  of  women  and  children. 

Toward  the  end  of  the  seventeenth  century  a  small  fleet  was 
established  on  the  Danube,  commanded  by  an  admiral  and  manned 
by  sailors  from  Holland  and  the  Baltic.  In  time  of  peace  the  garri- 
sons were  always  weak ;  Vienna  never  had  more  than  2000  soldiers. 
In  Hungary  the  government  maintained  10,000  men  aside  from  the 
national  militia,  but  they  were  poorly  fed  and  badly  paid,  and 
often  obliged  to  pillage  the  enemy's  country  to  obtain  food.  In- 
deed, pillaging  of  this  kind  had  become  a  regular  custom,  even  the 
Turks  agreeing  that  if  the  frontier  was  not  crossed  by  more  than 
500  men  and  so  long  as  they  were  without  artillery,  peace  was 
not  violated.  War  was,  moreover,  still  very  poorly  organized; 
supplies  were  never  ready,  and  the  expeditions  against  the  Turks 
always  set  out  too  late.  Regiments  were  often  farmed  out  or 
rented  by  the  colonels  or  other  officers  for  their  own  profit;  the 
treasury  paid  poorly  and  pay  was  at  times  half  a  year  in  arrears, 
which  accounts  for  the  frequent  insubordination  of  the  troops.  In 
1698  a  commission  was  appointed  to  remedy  these  evils;  its  de- 
liberations were  numerous,  but  it  accomplished  nothing.  There 
were  also  other  deplorable  influences  at  work  in  the  army.  Not 
infrequently  the  appointment  of  officers  depended  upon  the  king's 
confessor;  there  was  no  guarantee  for  their  obtaining  a  technical 
education,  and  it  became  necessary  to  have  recourse  to  Prussian, 
French,  and  English  officers  for  this  purpose.  No  military  school 
existed.     The  care  of  the  sick  and  wounded  was  neglected.     In 



1696  a  lottery  was  established  as  a  means  of  founding  a  military 
hospital,  and  the  lottery  has  since  remained  a  recognized  financial 
institution  in  Austria. 

The  greater  part  of  these  miseries  was  due  to  the  bad  state 
of  the  finances.  The  whole  of  the  ordinary  revenues  by  direct 
taxation  was  made  up  of  more  or  less  equal  subsidies,  voted  each 
year  (in  Hungary  every  three  or  four  years)  by  the  different  diets. 
Thus,  Lower  Austria  paid  on  an  average  two  hundred  thousand 
florins,  Upper  Austria  one  hundred,  Bohemia,  Silesia,  and  Moravia 
twelve  hundred  thousand.  Extraordinary  subsidies  took  the  form 
of  voluntary  gifts.  The  indirect  taxes  were  often  burdened  with 
debts  contracted  toward  the  various  provinces  of  the  empire.  But 
the  treasury  was  very  clever  at  finding  sources  of  revenue.  As 
early  as  1676  it  laid  a  tax  on  billiards,  playing-cards,  and  hair- 
powder;  later  on  the  monopoly  on  tobacco  and  stamped  paper  was 
introduced;  in  1691  a  capitation  tax  was  laid,  from  which  neither 
nobles  nor  ecclesiastics  were  exempt,  and  then  finally,  under  pre- 
texts of  philanthropy,  the  lottery  was  established.  Toward  the  end 
of  the  reign  the  total  revenues  from  the  three  groups,  Austria,  Bo- 
hemia, and  Hungary,  approximated  the  sum  of  twelve  million 

For  purposes  of  administration  the  country  was  divided  into 
different  groups:  Lower  Austria,  comprising  the  Austrian  lands 
on  both  sides  of  the  Enns ;  Middle  Austria,  Styria,  Carinthia,  Car- 
niola,  Gorica,  and  Istria ;  Upper  Austria,  the  Tyrol,  Outer  Austria, 
and  the  possessions  of  Austria  in  Germany;  Bohemia,  which  in- 
cluded Silesia  and  Moravia;  and  Hungary  and  Croatia,  which 
formed  one  group.  Three  chief  chanceries  were  maintained  at 
the  court,  one  for  Bohemia,  one  for  Hungary,  and  the  third  for  the 
hereditary  states.  But  these  did  not  prevent  the  continuance  of  the 
local  institutions  autonomous  to  each.  For  example,  Hungary  had 
its  chancery  at  Vienna,  while  the  emperor  was  represented  in  Hun- 
gary by  the  palatine,  and  in  Croatia  by  the  ban;  but  every  effort 
was  made  to  bring  the  financial  and  military  administration  under 
the  control  of  Vienna.  Bohemia,  crushed  in  1620,  retained  only  its 

The  Hapsburgs  have  always  had  absolutist  tendencies,  and 
the  prestige  of  their  imperial  title  made  them  more  readily  forget 
their  duties  as  kings,  counts,  or  archdukes.  Nevertheless,  their 
rule  was  based  on  the  principle  of  representation.     Each  province 



had  its  estates,  in  which  sat  the  deputies  of  the  nobility,  the  clergy, 
and  the  towns.  It  is  true  the  government  did  not  always  consult 
them  in  matters  of  civil  and  criminal  legislation  or  on  questions  of 
commerce;  it  looked  to  them  to  levy  the  taxes,  and  left  them  the 
direction  of  internal  affairs,  the  lower  courts  and  the  appoint- 
ment of  the  provincial  officers.  Customs  barriers  existed  between 
all  the  provinces,  imposing  burdensome  shackles  on  commerce. 
Legislation  busied  itself  with  absurd  details.  A  police  ordinance  of 
1 67 1  divided  lay  society  into  five  classes  and  defined  minutely 
what  each  should  wear  and  eat.  Another  ordinance  in  1688  re- 
duced the  number  of  classes  to  three,  and  tailors  and  cooks  were 
called  upon  to  denounce  all  those  who  infringed  upon  the  provi- 
sions laid  down  by  the  authorities  with  respect  to  the  garments  and 
food  of  the  three  classes.  Very  suspicious  in  certain  matters,  the 
police  was  lax  and  utterly  negligent  in  most  things.  Vienna  was 
dirty  and  badly  kept;  the  plague  which  broke  out  in  1679  was  as 
terrible  as  the  great  epidemics  of  the  Middle  Ages.  The  Emperor 
Leopold  fled  before  it,  as  four  years  later  he  fled  before  the  Turks. 
More  than  fifty  thousand  persons  are  said  to  have  perished. 

This  paternal  absolutism,  added  to  a  series  of  perpetual  wars, 
for  the  most  part  foreign  to  the  interests  of  the  different  parts  of 
the  country,  to  the  wretched  state  of  the  finances,  and  to  the 
great  influence  of  the  Jesuits,  readily  explains  the  backwardness 
of  Austria  at  this  time  from  the  literary  and  artistic  standpoint. 
The  teaching  of  the  Jesuits  and  of  the  Piaristes,  who  settled  in  the 
country  after  1656,  was  confined  to  the  formulas  of  the  schoolmen, 
and  the  importation  of  books  in  which  foreign  ideas  were  found  was 
strictly  prohibited.  The  Latin,  in  which  instruction  was  given, 
was  execrable,  and  the  German  was  no  better.  Nor  were  the  sorry 
conditions  in  Bohemia  and  Hungary  more  favorable  for  the 
development  of  a  national  literature. 

And  yet  Leopold  meant  to  encourage  letters :  he  set  aside  con- 
siderable sums  for  the  court  library,  and  after  the  annexation  of  the 
Tyrol  brought  a  part  of  the  collections  of  the  castle  of  Ambras  to 
Vienna.  He  also  collected  what  remained  of  the  scattered  library 
of  Mathias  Corvinus  and  caused  a  catalogue  of  the  manuscripts 
in  the  imperial  library  and  the  works  of  the  physicist.  Father 
Kirschner,  to  be  published  at  his  private  expense.  He  founded  the 
University  of  Innsbruck,  and  of  Breslau,  and  began  the  collection 
of  the  paintings  which  now  form  the  Vienna  gallery.     But  de- 




Spite  these  praiseworthy  efforts,  men  of  genius  are  entirely  want- 
ing in  his  reign. 

The  short  reign  of  Joseph  I.,  from  1705  to  171 1,  was  entirely 
occupied  on  the  one  hand  with  the  struggle  against  France  over 
the  Spanish  Succession,  and  on  the  other  with  the  conflict  with  the 
Transylvanian,  Rakoczy.  He  has  been  praised  for  his  tolerance 
toward  the  Reformed  faith.  He  even  forbade  Catholic  priests 
from  attacking  the  Protestants  in  their  sermons.  Toward  the 
Jesuits  he  showed  himself  much  less  favorably  disposed  than  his 
predecessors,  and  if  the  doubtful  testimony  of  Joseph  II.  can  be 

accepted,  entertained  the  idea  of  expelling  them  from  the  empire. 
Nor  was  he  afraid  to  oppose  the  Pope  in  the  matter  of  benefices. 
Clement  XI.  issued  a  bull  against  him,  in  which  he  reproached  the 
emperor  "  for  having  forgotten  the  hereditary  piety  of  the  house  of 

At  the  death  of  Joseph  I.  his  brother,  Charles,  was  in  Spain, 
where  he  had  been  engaged  for  several  years  in  an  unsuccessful 
conflict  with  Philip  of  Anjou  over  the  possession  of  that  kingdom. 
Charles  now  left  Spain  and  returned  to  Austria.  The  final  settle- 
ment of  the  War  of  the  Spanish  Succession,  in  the  treaties  of 
Utredit  and  Rastadt,  in  171 3  and  1714,  is  well  known.     The  house 



of  Austria  renounced  its  claim  to  Spain,  but  obtained  by  way  of  com- 
pensation the  Low  Countries,  Naples,  Milan,  and  the  presidios  of 
Tuscany  and  Sardinia.  The  history  of  these  ephemeral  possessions, 
which  contributed  less  to  strengthen  than  to  weaken  Austria,  is 
designedly  not  treated  in  this  volume.  It  would  have  been  a  much 
wiser  policy  for  Austria  had  she  sacrificed  them  and  pushed  on 
without  relaxation  the  extension  of  her  dominions  at  the  expense 
of  the  Turks. 

Charles  VI.  (1711-1740)  succeeded  to  the  empire  and  to  the 
kingdoms  of  Bohemia  and  Hungary  without  dispute.  His  brother, 
Joseph  I.,  had  left  two  daughters,  but  the  will  of  Leopold  I.  excluded 
women  from  the  throne,  and  provided  that  in  default  of  male  heirs 
the  younger  brother  should  succeed  the  elder.  It  declared  further 
that  in  default  of  male  heirs  by  Charles  VI.,  the  daughters  of 
Joseph  I.,  that  is,  daughters  of  the  older  son,  should  take  prece- 
dence over  daughters  of  the  house  of  the  younger.  Charles  VI. 
had  only  one  daughter,  Maria  Theresa.  Immediately  after  his  ac- 
cession he  began  a  series  of  negotiations  with  the  object  of  revers- 
ing the  order  of  succession  established  by  Leopold  I.,  and  of  secur- 
ing to  his  daughter  the  succession  of  the  Austrian  dominions  in 
their  entirety.  These  negotiations  extended  over  the  greater  part 
of  his  reign,  and  resulted  in  the  celebrated  act  known  as  the  Prag- 
matic Sanction.  Its  principal  features  are  found  in  the  following 
three  articles  forming  a  summary  of  a  solemn  declaration  read  by 
the  emperor  to  the  Secret  Council  at  Vienna  on  April  13,  1713: 

1.  All  the  Austrian  dominions  form  an  indivisible  whole. 

2.  Male  heirs  in  the  house  of  Austria  succeed  each  other  ac- 
cording to  the  law  of  primogeniture. 

3.  In  default  of  male  heirs,  daughters  are  to  succeed  accord- 
ing to  the  following  order:  first,  those  of  Charles  VL;  second, 
those  of  Joseph  I. ;  and  then  those  of  Leopold  I. 

The  council  had  only  to  record  the  will  of  the  sovereign  with- 
out discussing  it.  But  Charles  wanted  further  guarantees  and  he 
next  obtained  the  renunciation  of  their  rights  by  the  princesses  in- 
terested; then  he  set  himself  to  secure  the  ratification  of  the 
agreement  by  the  different  states  over  which  he  ruled,  beginning 
with  the  more  docile.  These,  one  by  one,  gave  their  adhesion, 
Hungary  alone  offering  any  serious  obstacles.  For  at  his  corona- 
tion Charles  VI.  had  subscribed  to  a  number  of  agreements,  one 
of  which  was  that  in  default  of  male  heirs  the  Hungarians  would 



have  the  right  to  choose  their  own  king.  But  the  Hungarian  diet 
finally  g^ve  its  consent  in  1722,  and  Charies  VI.  then  proclaimed 
the  Pragmatic  Sanction  in  the  Low  Countries  and  Milan.  It  still 
remained  to  secure  the  acceptance  of  the  plan  by  the  European 
powers,  and  in  this  he  was  likewise  successful.  Prussia  and  Russia 
recognized  the  Pragmatic  Sanction  in  1726;  England  and  Holland 
in  1731 ;  Germany  in  1732;  Poland  in  the  year  following;  while 
France,  Spain,  and  Sardinia  gave  their  adhesion  in  1735,  after 
the  Treaty  of  Vienna.  But  as  Prince  Eugene  wisely  said,  a 
well-filled  treasury  and  a  good  army  is  better  than  all  these  guaran- 
tees on  paper,  for  the  latter  in  nowise  prevented  the  powers  from 
attacking  Maria  Theresa  as  soon  as  she  mounted  the  throne. 
The  chief  significance  of  the  Pragmatic  Sanction,  however,  lies 
in  the  more  or  less  voluntary  consent  given  to  it  by  the  different 
parts  of  the  Austrian  state,  some  out  of  a  sentiment  of  loyalty 
to  the  reigning  house,  others  because  they  were  tired  of  con- 
tinually struggling  and  felt  themselves  incapable  of  sustaining 
an  existence  outside  of  Austria.  Thus  this  pact,  which  is  looked 
upon  as  a  mere  bit  of  historic  parchment  abroad,  remains  to-day 
the  basis  of  the  public  law  in  Austria.  In  his  anxiety  to  establish 
the  principles  of  the  Pragmatic  Sanction  Charles  VI.  often  sacri- 
ficed more  vital  interests.  The  War  of  the  Polish  Succession 
ended  in  the  Treaty  of  Vienna  in  1735,  by  which  Austria  lost 
Lombardy  and  ceded  the  Two  Sicilies  to  Don  Carlos  in  exchange  for 
Parma  and  Piacenza.  More  serious  losses  were  sustained  in  the 
war  against  the  Turks.  By  the  Treaty  of  Belgrade,  in  1739,  Charles 
was  obliged  to  restore  to  the  Porte  nearly  all  that  Hungary  had 
gained  by  the  Treaty  of  Passarovitz.  He  did  not  long  survive,  and 
died  in  1740  at  the  age  of  fifty-six. 

Charles  VI.  is  celebrated  for  his  love  of  the  fine  arts,  par- 
ticularly music.  He  induced  the  foremost  Italian  musicians,  Scar- 
lati  and  Caldara,  to  come  to  Vienna.  He  embellished  the  city, 
founded  academies  for  painting  and  sculpture,  and  enlarged  the 
collection  of  medals.  An  enthusiastic  admirer  of  Italian,  he  ap- 
pointed Muratori  as  his  historian  and  Metastasio  as  his  poet 
laureate.  He  adopted  effective  plans  to  develop  commerce;  he 
built  many  roads,  some  of  which  bear  his  name  to-day ;  he  founded 
an  Eastern  Trading  Company  at  Vienna  in  17 19,  a  Company 
of  the  Levant  at  Triest,  and  an  East  India  Company  at  Ostend, 
which  latter,  however,  he  soon  sacrificed  to  the  jealousy  of  the 



maritime  powers  of  the  north  in  order  to  secure  their  adhesion  to 
the  Pragmatic  Sanction.  Triest  and  Fiume  were  made  free  ports, 
and  a  small  fleet  was  created  on  the  Danube  to  protect  river  navi- 
gation. Mention  should  also  be  made  of  Charles  VI.'s  efforts  to 
improve  the  administration  of  justice.  His  clemency  secured  for 
him  the  name  of  Titus  among  the  courtiers,  but  it  did  not  extend 
to  matters  of  religion,  for  during  his  reign  many  Protestants 
were  forced  to  emigrate  to  Germany  and  Transylvania. 

Chapter  XVI 


THE  death  of  Louis  at  the  battle  of  Mohacs  in  1526  had 
left  the  elective  throne  of  Bohemia  vacant.  Ferdinand 
of  Austria  laid  claim  to  it  on  the  basis  of  the  treaties 
concluded  between  Vladislav  and  the  Emperor  Maximilian ;  but  the 
estates  of  the  realm  stubbornly  refused  to  recognize  their  validity, 
and  insisted  that  the  throne  could  be  ascended  by  none  but  a 
freely  elected  sovereign.  Rivals  of  Ferdinand  appeared  in  Sigis- 
mund  of  Poland  and  William  and  Louis  of  Bavaria,  but  by  adroit 
methods  of  bestowing  gifts  and  promises  upon  the  influential  per- 
sons in  Bohemia,  Ferdinand  was  finally  chosen,  being  unanimously 
elected  by  the  twenty-four  electors  to  whom  the  estates  had  in- 
trusted the  decision.  He  immediately  confirmed  the  privileges  of 
the  estates,  and  the  Compactata  of  Sigismund,  and  signed  a  revers, 
in  which  he  acknowledged  that  he  owed  his  election  to  the  free 
choice  of  the  estates;  at  the  same  time  he  agreed  to  make  his 
residence  at  Prague.  The  diet  held  immediately  after  the  acces- 
sion of  the  new  king  decided  upon  some  of  his  prerogatives.  It 
authorized  him  to  crown  his  successor  during  his  lifetime,  pro- 
vided he  was  the  legal  heir  to  his  kingdom;  it  recognized  the  ex- 
clusive right  of  the  king  to  convoke  the  diet  or  the  assemblies  of 
the  circles,  and  it  voted  subsidies  to  aid  him  in  his  war  against 
John  Szapolyai  and  his  allies,  the  Turks.  By  his  tolerance  and 
firmness  Ferdinand  at  first  won  the  good-will  of  his  new  subjects; 
he  endeavored  to  put  an  end  to  the  quarrels  between  the  religious 
factions,  and  reduced  the  nobles,  who  had  maintained  a  veritable 
tyranny  on  their  estates,  to  obedience.  He  solemnly  pledged  him- 
self to  protect  the  Utraquists  and  to  afford  them  equal  rights  with 
the  Catholics.  But  this  tolerance  did  not  apply  to  the  Bohemian 
Brothers,  who  were  always  proscribed,  nor  to  the  adherents  of 
the  new  Lutheran  doctrines,  whom  the  Utraquists  tried  in  every 
way  to  win  for  their  cause.     He  restricted  the  privileges  of  the  royal 




cities  by  forbidding  meetings  of  the  municipal  assemblies  except  by 
the  permission  of  the  king.  He  restored  regularity  into  the  admin- 
istration of  justice,  and  put  an  end  to  the  private  wars  which  had  for 
years  been  wasting  the  country. 

A  sincere  Catholic,  Ferdinand  was  naturally  strongly  opposed 
to  the  Lutheran  innovations,  but  circumstances  would  not  allow 
him  to  proceed  against  them  in  Bohemia  with  the  rigor  he  might 
have  wished.  He  forbade  them  the  use  of  the  churches,  but  he 
could  not  prevent  the  spread  of  their  worship  and  doctrines  on 
the  estates  of  the  lords  and  the  knights.  In  order  to  combat  the 
new  heresy  more  effectively,  he  endeavored  to  bring  about  a  union 
between  the  Utraquists  and  the  Catholics,  in  which  he  was  naturally 
unsuccessful.  The  Lutherans  on  their  part  tried  to  profit  by  the 
difficulties  Ferdinand  encountered  in  Hungary,  by  working  for  a 
more  definite  organization  among  themselves,  but  the  king  made 
no  concessions.  On  the  contrary,  expeditions  against  the  Turks  or 
the  Hungarians  afforded  him  a  pretext  to  procure  numerous  ad- 
ditional grants  of  money  over  and  above  the  annual  subsidies. 

Charles  V.  called  on  his  brother  Ferdinand  for  assistance  in 
his  struggle  against  the  Protestant  league  of  Smalkalde.  But  the 
king  of  Bohemia  could  not  raise  troops  without  the  consent  of  the 
estates,  and  the  Utraquist  members  did  not  judge  it  expedient  to 
furnish  soldiers  to  fight  against  their  coreligionists.  The  king 
was  obdurate  and  ordered  the  members  of  the  estates  to  assemble 
with  their  troops  at  Leitmeritz  in  January,  1547.  Many  refused 
to  cross  the  frontier  except  in  defense  of  the  country,  and  only  a 
docile  minority  accompanied  Ferdinand  against  Saxony. 

The  moment  the  king  had  left  the  kingdom  the  dissatisfac- 
tion broke  out.  Notwithstanding  the  royal  prohibition,  the  con- 
suls of  the  city  of  Prague  were  obliged  to  call  the  citizens  together. 
A  league  for  the  defense  of  the  liberties  of  the  country  was  formed, 
and  the  Utraquist  barons  and  knights  espoused  its  cause,  some  of 
the  Bohemian  Brothers  becoming  its  chief  orators.  Under  their 
direction  were  drawn  up  the  articles  to  be  presented  to  the  king,  in 
which  he  was  called  upon  to  divest  himself  of  all  the  prerogatives 
he  had  acquired  from  the  crown  to  the  detriment  of  the  kingdom 
during  the  twenty  years  of  his  reign.  According  to  these  articles 
the  Utraquists  were  to  have  the  right  to  organize  their  church  as 
they  wished  and  to  form  alliances  for  the  defense  of  their  interests. 
The  diet  of  the  kingdom  and  the  assemblies  of  the  circles  had 



the  right  to  meet,  if  they  saw  fit.  The  king  was  to  surrender  the 
concessions  made  him  in  1545  with  regard  to  the  succession,  and 
agree  to  appoint  only  such  officials  as  the  diet  would  approve. 
Messengers  were  dispatched  to  Ferdinand  to  ask  for  the  convoca- 
tion of  a  diet  to  deliberate  upon  these  measures,  while  the  estates 
of  Moravia,  Silesia,  and  Lusatia  were  invited  to  adopt  similar 
programmes.  Overtures  were  received  from  the  elector  of  Saxony 
and  a  victory  of  his  forces  over  the  imperialists  encouraged  the 
estates  in  their  demands.  They  placed  an  army  in  the  field  to 
cooperate  with  him  if  he  continued  successful,  but  his  defeat  at 
Miihlberg  in  1547  destroyed  their  hopes.  Ferdinand  reentered  at 
the  head  of  an  imperial  army  and  the  estates  had  not  the  courage 
to  resist  him.  By  a  promise  of  amnesty  to  all  barons  and  knights 
who  gave  in  their  submission  he  still  further  wrought  their  dis- 
solution. They  hastened  to  Leitmeritz  to  pay  their  homage  to 
their  sovereign,  and  then  marched  with  him  upon  Prague.  The 
terrified  capital  surrendered  at  discretion,  and  other  towns  fol- 
lowed the  example.  The  king  took  special  vengeance  on  the 
towns,  confiscating  their  property  and  curtailing  their  independ- 
ence by  the  appointment  of  royal  judges  and  captains.  The  estates 
of  only  a  few  of  the  nobles  were  confiscated.  Two  knights  and 
two  burghers  were  executed,  and  the  king  announced  that  the  cities 
had  forfeited  the  right  of  representation  in  the  diet,  but  that  not- 
withstanding he  would  in  his  clemency  only  restrict  or  suppress 
their  privileges.  Thenceforward  no  communal  meeting  could  be 
held  except  in  the  presence  of  a  royal  judge.  Thus  this  attempt 
at  revolution,  badly  planned  and  badly  carried  out,  resulted  solely 
to  the  profit  of  the  dynasty.  It  increased  the  royal  domain,  which 
had  been  much  reduced  during  the  last  reigns,  and  it  weakened 
the  power  of  the  diets,  in  which  the  bourgeoisie  could  appear  only 
by  the  royal  favor,  and,  so  to  speak,  under  the  supervision  of  royal 

These  energetic  measures  made  it  possible  for  Ferdinand  to 
go  to  Augsburg,  at  which  place  Oiarles  V.  had  just  convoked  the 
German  diet.  He  left  his  second  son,  the  Archduke  Ferdinand, 
as  regent.  At  Augsburg  the  German  princes  demanded  that  the 
crown  of  Bohemia  be  subjected  to  the  same  charges  as  the  rest  of 
the  empire,  but  Ferdinand  maintained  the  rights  of  his  kingdom 
and  its  independence  against  Germany.  A  short  time  afterward 
he  established  a  royal  court  of  appeal  for  all  the  possessions  of 



the  Bohemian  crown;  repressed  the  jurisdiction  of  the  municipal 
courts  at  Prague  and  Leitmeritz ;  prohibited  the  further  use  of  the 
code  of  Magdeburg-,  and  brought  about  the  unification  of  the  law 
throughout  the  whole  kingdom.  In  the  same  year  he  renewed 
the  persecution  of  the  Picards  and  the  Bohemian  Brothers.  He 
broke  up  their  community  and  forced  the  Brothers  to  join  either 
the  Catholics  or  the  Utraquists.  Those  who  refused  were  forced 
into  exile,  and  more  than  eight  hundred  emigrated  to  Prussia  and 

At  the  diet  of  1549  Ferdinand  proposed  fresh  measures  against 
the  Lutherans,  but  he  met  with  a  strong  resistance  from  the  estates 
of  Bohemia  and  Moravia,  and  the  energy  displayed  by  the  Ger- 
man Protestants  obliged  him  to  renounce  his  plans.  The  Peace  of 
Augsburg  in  1555,  which  secured  the  triumph  of  the  Reformation 
in  Germany,  gave  fresh  courage  to  the  Evangelicals  of  Bohemia. 
To  resist  them  Ferdinand  threw  himself  passionately  on  the  side 
of  the  Catholics;  he  called  the  Jesuit  society  to  Prague,  founded 
an  archbishopric  for  the  Catholics,  and  negotiated  with  the  Council 
of  Trent  for  the  admission  of  the  Utraquists  into  the  Catholic 
church.  In  1564  he  obtained  from  Pope  Pius  IV.,  and  from  the 
Council  of  Trent,  the  sanction  for  the  use  of  the  cup  throughout 
the  kingdom  of  Bohemia,  and  thereafter  the  Jesuits,  and  the  arch- 
bishop himself,  might  be  seen  administering  the  sacrament  in  both 

Maximilian  II.,  Ferdinand's  successor,  was,  as  we  have  seen, 
favorable  to  the  Reformation,  and  ascended  the  throne  in  1564  with 
ideas  of  toleration  which  he  applied  as  much  as  the  spirit  of  the 
century  would  permit.  On  the  request  of  the  Utraquists  he  per- 
mitted them  to  govern  themselves,  not  according  to  the  Compactata, 
but  according  to  "  the  word  of  God."  The  Evangelicals,  how- 
ever, were  not  able  to  obtain  his  recognition  of  the  Confession  of 
Augsburg,  and  consequently  united  with  the  Bohemian  Brothers, 
who  still  existed  in  secret,  to  elaborate  a  kind  of  national  confes- 
sion of  faith.  But  this  also  failed  to  obtain  the  recognition  of  the 
sovereign,  and  the  Lutheran  church  remained  without  clergy  and 
without  organization.  This  led  to  a  condition  of  disorder  and 
moral  anarchy  which  wasted  the  energy  of  the  best  minds,  and 
the  wearisome  quarrels  which  resulted  fill  most  of  the  reign  of 

Externally  Bohemia  was  at  peace  during  the  reign  of  this 



prince  and  his  predecessor.  Some  levies  were  furnished  against 
the  Turks  and  Hungarians,  but  no  foreign  enemy  was  seen  on  the 
native  soil.  This  long  period  of  peace,  constantly  troubled  by 
theological  discussions  and  religious  quarrels,  seems  to  have  ener- 
vated the  Czech  nation,  for  it  lost  many  of  those  warlike  qualities 
which  had  been  its  glory  in  the  previous  century.  The  national 
literature  became  verbose  and  pedantic,  and  more  remarkable  for 
the  quantity  than  the  quality  of  its  productions.  A  large  number 
of  foreigners,  especially  Germans,  again  settled  in  the  capital,  and 
the  policy  of  the  sovereign  was  always  prompted  by  the  interests 
either  of  his  own  country  or  of  Germany,  never  by  those  of  the 
kingdom  itself. 

Rudolf  n.  (1576-1612)  had  more  taste  for  the  arts  and 
sciences  than  for  theology,  and,  like  Charles  IV.,  he  made  Prague 
one  of  the  most  learned  cities  of  Europe.  Czech  literature  attained 
a  remarkable  development.  The  Bohemian  Brothers  published  a 
translation  of  the  Bible,  which  was  for  Bohemia  what  Luther's 
was  for  Germany.  Nevertheless  foreigners  increased  in  number  in 
the  kingdom.  Educated  in  Spain,  Rudolf  gathered  about  him 
Spaniards  and  Germans  and  never  learned  the  Czech  language. 
But  although  very  favorable  to  Catholicism,  he  was  so  much  of  a 
dreamer  and  so  indolent  that  he  remained  for  a  long  time  either 
ignorant  of  the  religious  quarrels  of  his  subjects  or  else  indifferent 
to  them.  The  Jesuits  made  great  progress  in  the  schools,  and  ac- 
quired considerable  influence  with  the  Catholic  nobility,  till  finally 
they  succeeded  in  obtaining  an  overpowering  influence  over  the 
enfeebled  mind  of  Rudolf  himself.  In  1602  he  renewed  the  per- 
secutions against  the  Bohemian  Brothers,  whom  the  Utraquists  tried 
in  vain  to  defend.  The  Jesuits  and  Catholic  fanatics  became  mas- 
ters of  the  kingdom.  All  state  officials  were  obliged  on  pain 
of  dismissal  and  exile  to  sign  a  confession  of  the  Catholic  faith, 
and  it  is  even  told  of  a  certain  lord  that  he  hunted  his  peasants  to 
church  with  his  dogs  and  forced  them  to  receive  the  sacraments. 
The  archbishop  of  Prague  assembled  a  provincial  synod  for  the 
avowed  purpose  of  bringing  back  all  of  Bohemia  to  the  Catholic 
union.  Religious  dissensions  broke  out  worse  than  ever  when 
the  feeble  Rudolf  had  to  defend  his  power  against  his  brother 
Mathias,  who  was  impatient  to  rule  over  the  whole  of  the  Aus- 
trian states,  and  who  had  found  allies  in  the  Bohemian  Brothers 
in  Moravia.    The  leader  of  the  latter  was  Charles  of  Zerotin,  an 



important  personage  in  Moravian  history,  who  had  previously 
served  with  Henry  IV.  of  France.  He  convoked  the  estates  of 
the  kingdom  at  Caslav  and  entered  Bohemia,  but  the  Bohemian 
estates  remained  true  to  their  lawful  king  and  flocked  round  him 
at  Prague.  The  incident,  however,  gave  the  Utraquists  the  oppor- 
tunity successfully  to  demand  the  redress  of  their  religious  griev- 
ances and  the  adoption  of  sweeping  reforms.  Rudolf  promised  all 
they  asked  and  purchased  peace  from  Mathias  by  the  Treaty  of 
Libno,  1608,  by  which  he  ceded  Moravia  to  him.  At  the  diet  held 
in  1609  the  Evangelicals  and  the  Bohemian  Brothers  renewed  their 
demands,  calling  upon  the  emperor  to  recognize  the  Bohemian 
confession;  to  admit  them  into  the  consistory  of  the  Utraquists 
and  to  intrust  to  them  the  management  of  the  University  of  Prague. 
The  emperor  refused  these  demands,  whereupon  they  constituted 
themselves  into  an  independent  diet  in  the  town-hall  of  the  new 
town  of  Prague  and  formed  an  armed  league  for  the  protection  of 
their  religion.  At  the  head  of  their  forces  they  placed  Count 
Mathias  of  Thurn,  a  German  who  had  shortly  before  settled  in 
Bohemia,  appointing  with  him  a  committee  of  seventy-five  directors 
who  were  charged  with  the  defense  of  their  interests.  The  league 
was  joined  by  the  estates  of  Silesia. 

The  emperor-king,  alarmed,  begged  the  elector  of  Saxony  for 
his  mediation,  and  offered  to  allow  the  formation  of  a  special 
consistory  for  the  Bohemian  Brothers.  They  refused  his  offer 
and  drew  up  their  demands  in  the  form  of  a  letter  of  majesty,  or 
fundamental  law,  which  Rudolf  signed  in  July,  1609.  This  cele- 
brated document  secured  the  recognition  of  the  Bohemian  con- 
fession, the  admission  of  the  Evangelicals  and  the  Bohemian 
Brothers  to  the  Utraquist  consistory,  and  their  right  to  govern  the 
university.  They  were  empowered,  moreover,  to  choose  a  certain 
number  of  defenders  of  the  faith  from  among  the  lords,  knights, 
and  citizens  to  watch  over  the  maintenance  of  their  privileges. 
About  the  same  time  a  treaty  was  concluded  between  the  Catholics 
and  the  Utraquists,  which  declared  that  henceforth  religious  parties 
were  mutually  to  give  due  respect  to  each  other's  confessions.  Thus 
there  was  brought  about  a  definite  recognition  of  the  rights  of  liberty 
of  conscience,  so  far  as  it  was  understood  in  that  epoch — a  kind  of 
Edict  of  Nantes,  which  secured  the  religious  peace  of  Bohemia  for 
the  future.  Rudolf,  however,  had  been  an  unwilling  party  to  the 
agreements,  and  neglected  no  opportunity  to  revenge  himself.    At 



his  instigation  the  Archduke  Leopold,  the  younger  brother  of 
Ferdinand  of  Styria,  threw  an  army  of  12,000  into  Bohemia,  captur- 
ing Tabor  and  several  other  towns  of  the  Evangelicals.  But  the 
diet  soon  assembled  an  army  and  dispersed  the  invaders,  after  which 
they  besieged  Rudolf,  whom  they  suspected  of  complicity  in  the 
affair,  in  his  royal  castle  and  forced  him  to  abdicate.  Mathias 
was  then  elected  in  his  stead,  Rudolf  dying  the  following  year. 

The  Protestants  and  the  Utraquists  did  not  know  how  to 
make  use  of  the  liberties  which  they  had  forced  from  Rudolf.  By 
an  agreement  between  the  Evangelicals  and  the  Brothers  the  con- 
sistory was  renewed  and  the  dignitaries  chosen  from  among  mem- 
bers of  both  confessions.  But  no  serious  measure  was  decreed  to 
increase  the  number  of  the  clergy  or  to  improve  church  discipline, 
while  the  differences  between  the  teachings  of  Luther  and  Calvin 
divided  the  Reformers  into  the  two  rival  camps.  They  took  pos- 
session of  the  University  of  Prague,  but  in  this  case,  too,  it  was 
shown  how  much  easier  it  is  to  destroy  institutions  than  to  build 
them  up.  They  shrank  from  the  necessary  sacrifices,  and  the 
school  of  John  Huss  no  longer  enjoyed  the  renown  of  former  times. 
The  efforts  of  the  estates  aimed  less  at  religious  improvement  of 
the  nation  than  at  the  increase  of  political  liberties.  At  his  cor- 
onation they  presented  the  following  conditions  to  Mathias:  they 
claimed  the  right  to  hold  diets  without  the  consent  of  the  king ;  to 
summon  the  army  when  they  deemed  it  advisable;  to  maintain  the 
union  entered  into  with  the  estates  of  Silesia  in  1600  for  the  defense 
of  the  common  faith ;  to  conclude  similar  treaties  with  neighboring 
countries,  and,  finally,  to  renew  the  treaties  concluded  formerly  by 
Podiebrad  with  the  Protestant  electors  of  Saxony,  the  Palati- 
nate, and  Brandenburg,  so  that  the  estates  might  invoke  the 
assistance  of  these  princes  in  their  conflicts  with  the  king.  Of 
these  demands  Mathias  ratified  only  the  third  and  postponed  the 
discussion  of  the  others,  hoping  that  he  might  win  over  the 
leaders  of  the  opposition  by  favors  and  dignities.  But  in  this 
he  was  unsuccessful,  and  the  Reformers  sought  for  allies  among 
the  Hungarians  and  the  Protestant  princes  who  were  interested 
in  the  humiliation  of  the  house  of  Austria.  The  emperor-king 
tried  to  avert  the  crisis  which  threatened  him  by  bringing  forward 
the  proposal  of  a  war  against  the  Turks,  and  invited  delegates  from 
the  different  diets  of  the  Austrian  dominions  to  assemble  at  Linz 
in  1 614-     But  they  refused  the  men  and  subsidies  for  which  he 



asked.  Uiider  the  same  pretext  he  convoked  the  general  diet  of 
the  Bohemian  provinces  at  Prague,  which  contented  itself  by  adopt- 
ing rigorous  measures  to  maintain  the  Czech  language  as  the  official 
language  of  the  kingdom,  and  in  order  to  avert  the  threatened  dan- 
ger from  German  immigration,  decided  that  in  the  future  no 
foreigner  should  be  admitted  into  Bohemia  unless  he  spoke  Czech. 

Mathias,  having  no  heir,  proposed  to  the  estates  that  they 
recognize  his  cousin,  Ferdinand  of  Styria,  as  his  successor  to  the 
throne  of  Bohemia.  After  some  opposition,  due  to  the  fact  that 
it  was  well  known  that  Ferdinand  was  the  enemy  of  the  new 
religion  and  a  determined  defender  of  Catholicism,  they  agreed. 

An  incident  of  minor  importance  which  occurred  about  this 
time  again  aroused  the  slumbering  religious  passions.  The  Utra- 
quists,  on  the  strength  of  the  letter  of  majesty,  had  built  several 
churches  on  the  domains  of  the  abbey  of  Brevno  and  of  the  arch- 
bishopric of  Prague.  The  letter  of  majesty  had,  however,  only  pro- 
claimed tolerance  within  the  royal  cities,  and  the  abbot  and  the 
archbishop  ordered  the  closing  of  these  churches  and  appealed  to 
the  king,  who  supported  them.  The  Defenders  of  the  Faith,  on 
learning  this,  convoked  the  Protestant  estates,  who  declared  that 
the  government  had  violated  the  letter  of  majesty,  and  dispatched 
messengers  to  Vienna  to  demand  the  restoration  of  the  churches. 
Mathias  refused  and  ordered  the  assembly  to  be  dissolved.  This 
reply  raised  the  anger  of  the  estates  to  a  high  pitch,  and  after  some 
hesitation  they  decided  to  declare  their  independence  and  to  break 
with  the  sovereign  in  a  most  startling  manner.  On  leaving  the 
country  Mathias  had  appointed  ten  lieutenants  to  govern  it  in  his 
absence.  It  was  now  resolved  to  hurl  these  from  the  windows  of 
the  castle  of  Hradcany  at  Prague.  May  23  was  the  day  fixed  for 
the  revolt.  The  leaders  of  the  conspiracy  were  the  counts  of 
Thurn,  Schlick,  and  William  of  Lobkovitz.  Fully  armed,  they 
entered  the  castle  and  found  four  of  the  royal  lieutenants,  the 
grand  burggrave  Adam  of  Sternberg,  with  his  son-in-law,  Jaroslav 
of  Martinitz,  burggrave  of  Karlstein,  the  chief  justice  William  of 
Slavata,  and  the  grand  prior  of  the  Knights  of  Malta,  Diepold  of 
Lobkovitz.  With  them  was  Fabricius,  the  secretary,  an  obscure 
person  whom  this  day  was  to  make  famous.  The  room,  which 
is  still  shown  in  the  castle  of  Prague,  was  small  and  admitted 
only  a  limited  number  of  the  conspirators.  They  angrily  ques- 
tioned the  lieutenants,  asking  them  to  state  whether  they  had  in- 




Spired  the  threatening  letter  which  Mathias  had  written  to  the  diet, 
and  when  the  heutenants  refused  to  reply,  they  declared  that  they 
would  not  withdraw  without  having  obtained  an  explanation, 
saying,  "  You  are  to  know,  Jesuit  dogs,  that  you  have  not  to  deal 
with  women  now."  All  the  conspirators  agreed  that  Martinitz 
and  Slavata  had  inspired  the  imperial  letter,  and  in  spite  of  their 
protestations  they  were  declared  enemies  of  the  country  and  with- 
out the  pale  of  the  law.  After  this  summary  judgment  Stem- 
berg  and  Diepold  of  Lobkovitz  were  thrown  out  of  the  door,  while 
the  two  other  lieutenants  were  seized  and  hurled  from  the  windows 
of  the  castle.  The  secretary,  Fabricius,  who  was  hiding  among 
the  attendants,  shared  the  same  fate.  But  by  a  peculiar  chance 
the  three  men  escaped  death,  although  they  fell  from  a  height  of 
more  than  forty  yards.  The  rubbish  in  the  ditch  of  the  castle 
broke  their  fall;  Slavata  alone  was  slightly  injured,  and  all  escaped. 
The  secretary,  Fabricius,  hastened  to  carry  the  news  of  the  catas- 
trophe to  Vienna,  where  he  was  raised  to  the  nobility  as  a  reward 
of  his  fidelity  and  received  the  appropriate  title  of  Hohenfall  (Lord 
of  the  High  Fall). 

The  defenestration  of  Prague  was  the  signal  for  a  terrible 
war.  On  the  very  day  of  this  act  of  rebellion  the  estates  organized 
a  provisional  government  of  thirty  directors  and  assembled  an 
army,  the  supreme  command  of  which  they  intrusted  to  Count 
Thurn.  They  sent  to  ask  Grerman  princes  for  their  alliance,  exiled 
the  Jesuits,  and  banished  the  archbishop  and  abbot  of  Brevno. 
The  emperor,  surprised  by  this  unexpected  revolt,  at  first  hesi- 
tated. His  favorite.  Cardinal  Khlesl,  counseled  moderation,  and 
the  weakly  Mathias  dreaded  the  war  which  his  future  successor,  the 
proud  Ferdinand,  urged  upon  him.  He  sent  a  commission  to  Prague 
in  the  hope  of  coming  to  an  understanding  with  the  rebels,  but  the 
mission  failed.  The  royal  lieutenants  of  Prague  were  kept  under 
strict  surveillance.  Besides,  it  was  by  no  means  an  easy  task  to 
bring  together  sufficient  forces  against  Bohemia.  The  diet  of 
Hungary,  in  which  the  recognition  of  Ferdinand  was  just  being 
discussed,  was  far  from  tractable,  while  the  estates  of  Upper  Aus- 
tria and  of  Moravia  refused  to  furnish  troops  against  the  Czechs. 
The  Bohemians  on  the  other  hand  did  not  wait  to  be  attacked. 
They  marched  against  the  Catholics,  who  remained  faithful  to  the 
dynasty,  and  besieged  the  city  of  Budweis.  Finally,  in  order  to 
compel  Mathias  to  act,  his  two  brothers,  Ferdinand  and  Maximilian, 



seized  Cardinal  Khlesl  and  shut  him  up  in  the  castle  of  Ambras. 
Deprived  of  his  habitual  counselor,  Mathias  left  the  conduct  of  affairs 
to  Ferdinand.  An  army  of  10,000  men  commanded  by  Henry  of 
Dampierre  entered  Bohemia,  and  Thum  was  obliged  to  raise  the 
siege  of  Budweis.  Nevertheless  he  repulsed  Dampierre  in  two 
engagements,  and  obliged  him  to  retire  into  Austria.  The  im- 
perial army  was  soon  reinforced,  however,  by  Spaniards  brought 
up  by  General  Buquoi.  But  the  Czechs  on  their  part  also  received 
assistance.  All  the  Protestants  of  Germany  were  the  enemies  of 
Austria,  and  the  Bohemian  revolt  was  the  signal  of  a  European 
reaction  against  the  excessive  powers  of  this  house,  which  held 
Europe  and  the  Reformation  in  check.  Charles  Emmanuel  of 
Savoy  and  the  princes  of  the  Evangelical  union  sent  an  auxiliary 
army,  led  by  Ernest  of  Mansfeld,  to  aid  the  estates.  He  entered 
Bohemia  and  captured  the  city  of  Pilsen,  which  had  refused,  as  in 
the  time  of  the  Hussites,  to  recognize  the  authority  of  the  estates. 
He  then  defeated  Buquoi  and  compelled  him  to  shut  himself  up 
in  Budweis. 

At  the  beginning  of  the  winter  the  elector  of  Saxony  tried 
to  mediate:  a  congress  was  assembled  at  Eger,  but  it  ended  in 
failure.  The  plenipotentiaries  of  the  estates  demanded  that 
Mathias  definitely  accept  the  four  articles  concerning  which  nego- 
tiations had  been  carried  on  ever  since  his  accession.  On  March  20, 
1 619,  he  died. 

Chapter    XVII 

THE    THIRTY    YEARS'    WAR    AND    THE    OVER- 
THROW  OF   BOHEMIA.     1618-1648 

FERDINAND  II.  (1619-1637)  at  once  took  up  the  struggle 
with  the  estates  and  displayed  much  more  energy  than  his 
predecessor.  He  began  his  reign  by  a  letter  addressed, 
not  to  the  estates,  but  to  the  old  royal  lieutenants,  announcing  to 
them  that  he  would  respect  the  letter  of  majesty  and  those  privi- 
leges to  which  he  had  sworn  at  his  coronation,  and  promising 
further  to  establish  peace  and  order  in  the  kingdom.  At  the  same 
time  he  caused  an  offer  of  truce  to  be  made  to  the  rebels,  but  the 
estates  refused  it.  In  the  spring  of  161 9  Thurn  invaded  Moravia, 
but  found  the  estates  of  this  province  very  reluctant  to  support 
the  Bohemian  revolt.  At  the  head  of  the  party  of  moderation 
was  the  leader  of  the  Bohemian  Brothers,  Charles  of  Zerotin,  who 
exercised  an  indisputable  influence.  He  had  been  on  more  than 
one  occasion  the  subject  of  national  intrigues  and  the  victim  of 
base  persecution,  but,  notwithstanding,  he  went  to  Prague  the  day 
after  the  defenestration  to  counsel  moderation  and  obedience.  And 
though  his  brother-in-law,  Wallenstein,  and  one  of  his  sons-in- 
law  were  among  the  revolutionists,  he  continued  loyal  to  his  sov- 
ereign. The  arrival  of  Thurn  in  Moravia,  however,  gave  a  head 
to  the  malcontents  of  that  province,  and  the  estates  joined  the  con- 
federation concluded  between  Bohemia,  Silesia,  and  Lusatia. 
Thereupon  Thurn  marched  upon  Vienna,  where  the  Protesants 
had  risen  in  their  turn  and  demanded  the  free  exercise  of  their 
religion.  But  a  defeat  of  Mansfeld  by  Buquoi  recalled  him  to 

In  the  meantime,  however,  Bohemia  could  not  remain  with- 
out a  sovereign.  It  was  contrary  to  the  ideas  of  the  time  that  a 
nation  could  be  capable  of  governing  itself,  and  the  patriotism  of 
the  Bohemian  nobility  was  not  sufficiently  enlightened  to  choose  a 
national  sovereign.  Three  foreign  candidates  became  rivals  for 
the  throne,  the  young  Elector-palatine  Frederick,  who  was  the 


THE     THIRTY     YEARS'     WAR 



chief  of  the  Protestant  German  Union,  John  George,  elector  of 
Saxony,  and  Charles  Emmanuel,  duke  of  Savoy.  On  September 
26,  1 619,  Frederick  was  elected  by  a  general  diet  of  all  the  coun- 
tries of  the  Bohemian  crown.  This  so  enraged  the  elector  of 
Saxony  that  he  became  reconciled  to  Ferdinand,  who  had  just  been 
elected  emperor.  Frederick  arrived  in  Prague  and  was  crowned 
by  the  Utraquist  administrator  in  the  Church  of  St.  Vit.  He 
promised  to  agree  to  the  four  points  formerly  proposed  to  Mathias, 
and  by  which  the  sovereign  was  completely  subjected  to  the  estates. 
All  the  Catholics  had  opposed  the  election,  but  the  invasion  of 



T  U    RK  t 



Hungary  by  Bethlen  materially  aided  the  new  king.  Buquoi  was 
compelled  to  leave  Bohemia  and  to  march  against  the  Transyl- 
vanian  troops,  Thum  following  him  as  far  as  the  Danube.  At 
Presburg  a  treaty  was  concluded  between  the  Czechs,  Hungarians, 
and  Transylvanians  against  the  house  of  Austria.  The  contract- 
ing parties  even  sent  an  embassy  to  Constantinople  to  come  to  an 
understanding  with  the  Turk,  but  Bethlen  soon  made  peace  with 
Ferdinand  and  the  emperor  employed  the  winter  of  the  year  1620 
in  collecting  his  forces.  The  king  of  Spain,  the  Pope,  the  elector  of 
Bavaria,  who  was  the  head  of  the  Catholic  League,  and  the  elector 
of   Saxony   all   furnished   soldiers.     Even   Sigismund   of   Poland 



promised  to  send  assistance.  The  Protestant  princes  of  Germany, 
on  the  other  hand,  were  deterred  from  coming  to  the  aid  of  Bohemia 
by  the  presence  of  the  Spaniards  in  the  Low  Countries,  so  that 
Bohemia  found  herself  without  allies.  Frederick  was  not  the  man 
to  rise  to  the  situation.  A  fanatical  Calvinist,  he  favored  the  sect 
of  the  Bohemian  Brothers  to  the  prejudice  of  the  Lutherans,  whose 
anger  he  excited.  He  transformed  the  national  cathedral  of  St.  Vit 
into  a  cold,  barren  Protestant  sanctuary,  and  by  the  preference 
which  he  constantly  showed  for  his  foreign  advisers  he  estranged 
his  best  generals,  Thurn  and  Mansfeld. 

In  the  spring  of  1620  the  Bohemian  army  invaded  Lower  Aus- 
tria, but  it  was  unable  to  score  a  decisive  victory,  while  Ferdinand 
and  his  allies  began  to  act  with  an  energy  which  soon  dashed  all 
its  hopes.  Maximilian  of  Bavaria  and  Tilly  entered  Upper  Aus- 
tria, the  elector  of  Saxony,  Lusatia,  and  the  Cossacks  of  the  king 
of  Poland  pushed  forward  as  far  as  Lower  Austria.  Very  soon 
Maximilian  and  Buquoi  entered  Bohemia  by  the  south  with  a 
force  of  about  50,000  men,  while  the  Bohemians  had  only  25,000. 
One  city  after  another  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  imperialists,  and 
the  Bohemian  army  after  retreating  first  to  one  point,  then  to 
another,  finally  awaited  a  decisive  engagement  upon  the  plateau 
of  the  White  Mountain  to  the  west  of  Prague,  where  they  entrenched 
themselves.  Here  the  two  armies  of  the  enemy  attacked  it  with 
terrible  fury,  and  put  it  to  flight,  despite  the  heroism  of  the  Hun- 
garians and  Moravians,  who  fought  to  the  very  last.  Ten  thou- 
sand dead  were  left  on  the  field  of  battle,  and  the  camp  of  the 
Czechs  fell  entirely  into  the  hands  of  the  enemy.  When  the  battle 
began  Frederick  was  quietly  feasting  in  his  palace,  and  on  being 
notified  that  the  engagement  was  on,  started  for  the  scene  of 
action  only  to  meet  the  ruins  of  his  army  precipitously  rushing  into 
the  city,  November  8,  1620. 

But  all  hope  was  not  yet  lost.  Prague  might  defend  itself. 
Eight  thousand  Magyars  sent  by  Bethlen  had  just  reached  the 
frontier.  Moravia  and  Silesia  were  in  arms;  and  Mansfeld  still 
held  several  strongly  fortified  cities;  only  Lusatia,  occupied  by  the 
Saxon  troops,  had  succumbed.  But  Frederick  looked  upon  the 
contest  as  hopeless,  and  retired  to  Breslau.  The  estates,  forsaken 
by  the  sovereign  whom  they  had  chosen,  opened  the  gates  of 
the  city  and  gave  themselves  up  to  the  mercy  of  the  conqueror. 
Ferdinand  intrusted  the  administration  of  Bohemia  to  Charles  of 

THE     THIRTY     YEARS'     WAR  ^07 


Lichtenstein,  while  Buquoi  pushed  on  to  Moravia  to  complete  the 
submission  of  that  province.  In  the  meantime  the  elector  of 
Saxony  reduced  Silesia,  and  Frederick  was  obliged  to  leave  Bres- 
lau.  His  able  general  Mansfeld,  who  had  continued  his  resist- 
ance for  some  time  in  the  west,  was  forced  to  quit  Bohemia. 

So  long  as  Ferdinand  was  not  absolutely  sure  of  victory  he 
observed  a  prudent  reserve  and  gave  no  inkling  of  his  intentions 
with  regard  to  his  revolted  subjects.  As  soon,  however,  as  he 
felt  himself  master  of  the  situation  his  vengeance  burst  forth.  He 
gave  orders  for  the  arrest  of  all  the  old  offenders,  the  directors, 
and  all  those  who  in  any  way  had  taken  part  in  the  revolt.  He 
threw  into  prison  all  those  who,  trusting  in  the  royal  clemency,  had 
remained  in  the  capital,  and  the  most  terrible  reprisals  began.  All 
the  Calvinist  preachers  and  the  Bohemian  Brothers  were  banished; 
an  extraordinary  tribunal  was  established  in  Prague  under  the 
presidency  of  Lichtenstein,  and  after  summary  judgments  the 
executions  commenced. 

On  June  21,  1621,  before  the  city  hall  of  the  old  town,  twenty- 
seven  of  the  principal  leaders  were  put  to  death.  Among  them 
was  the  rector  of  the  University  of  Prague,  Jensenius,  who  had 
been  condemned  to  be  quartered,  but  whose  sentence  was  com- 
muted to  having  his  tongue  cut  out.  Some  were  beheaded,  others 
were  hanged ;  all  died  heroically  confessing  their  faith.  The  heads 
of  the  victims  were  exposed  on  the  tower  of  the  bridge  of  Prague. 
This  day  was  for  Bohemia  what  later  on  the  bloody  day  of  Eperies 
was  for  Hungary.  On  the  following  day  the  punishments  decreed 
for  those  who  had  not  been  condemned  to  death  and  torture 
were  pronounced;  they  were  flogging,  banishing  and  imprison- 
ment. The  property  of  the  victims  was  confiscated  to  the  king, 
his  generals,  and  courtiers — Spaniards,  Italians,  Walloons,  and 
Germans.  Indeed,  it  is  at  this  time  that  there  were  established 
in  Bohemia  a  crowd  of  foreign  families  such  as  the  Colloredos,  the 
Piccolomini,  the  Wallis,  the  Gallas,  the  Lichtensteins,  etc.,  whose 
descendants  may  still  be  found  in  Austria  or  Bohemia.  One  can 
readily  understand  how  these  intruders,  enriched  by  the  royal  munifi- 
cence at  the  expense  of  the  Czechs,  should  be  little  disposed  to  cham- 
pion the  rights  of  the  kingdom.  Another  portion  of  the  confiscated 
property  was  devoted  to  pious  foundations,  especially  in  favor  of 
the  archbishopric  of  Prague  and  the  Jesuits,  for  whom  the  emperor 
had  a  particular  fondness.     One  of  their  number.  Father  Carafa, 



who  was  intrusted  with  the  organization  of  the  counter-reformation 
in  Bohemia,  has  himself  characterized  the  system  which  he  adopted 
by  the  following  naive  avowal :  "  We  have  long  ago  recognized 
that  there  is  only  one  method  of  enlightening  the  Bohemians  and 
leading  them  back  into  the  good  way,  namely,  by  persecution." 
To  these  persecutions  Ferdinand  put  an  end  in  1622  by  a  man- 
date under  the  name  of  a  general  pardon,  a  document  which  affords 
us  a  measure  of  his  clemency.  All  those  who  had  taken  part  in 
the  revolt,  the  pardon  says,  deserve  to  be  punished  both  as  to 
their  lives  and  their  goods;  but  the  emperor  in  his  mercy  pardons 
them  as  to  their  lives,  contenting  himself  with  the  confiscation  of 
their  property  if  they  consent  to  recognize  their  faults.  Seven 
hundred  and  twenty-three  lords  and  knights  accepted  this  mockery 
of  an  amnesty  which  left  them  either  partially  or  completely 

But  the  great  concern  of  Ferdinand  II.  was  the  reestablish- 
ment  of  the  Catholic  religion  throughout  the  entire  kingdom.  The 
University  of  Prague  was  taken  away  from  the  Utraquist  professors 
and  handed  over  to  the  Jesuits,  who  now  took  over  the  direction 
of  instruction  throughout  practically  all  of  the  kingdom.  The 
elector  of  Saxony  made  a  vain  attempt  to  intervene  in  favor  of 
the  Lutherans,  his  coreligionists.  In  1624  an  imperial  mandate 
definitely  proscribed  all  the  Bohemian  Brothers  and  organized  the 
Catholic  restoration.  The  churches  were  handed  over  to  priests, 
many  of  whom  had  to  be  brought  in  from  foreign  lands,  espe- 
cially from  Poland.  Those  who  would  not  profess  the  Catholic 
religion  could  enjoy  no  civil  rights  or  exercise  any  occupation: 
and  the  rights  of  marriage  and  of  burial  were  withheld  from  them. 
Neglect  of  fast  days,  holidays,  and  the  mass  was  punished  by  fines. 
The  new  lords  installed  by  the  imperial  favor  on  the  confiscated  prop- 
erties persecuted  their  peasantry  in  order  to  bring  them  into  the  true 
faith.  But  with  it  all  these  measures  were  insufficient.  At  Prague 
it  became  necessary  to  exile  the  greater  portion  of  the  influential 
citizens,  and  in  other  of  the  royal  towns  recourse  was  had  to  quar- 
tering of  troops  upon  the  inhabitants.  The  indomitable  tenacity  of 
the  Czechs  was  increased  rather  than  diminished  by  persecution. 
The  Lysa  inhabitants  burned  their  town  and  emigrated  in  a  body 
rather  than  yield.  In  other  sections  incipient  revolts  broke  out. 
but  were  easily  suppressed,  and  order  was  reestablished  by  means  of 
executions  and  tortures.     The  horrors  and  crimes  committed  dur- 

THE     THIRTY    YEARS*     WAR  209 


ing  this  epoch  form  one  of  the  saddest  episodes  in  the  history  of 

After  the  religious  reaction  came  a  reaction  in  politics.  Im- 
mediately following  his  victory  Ferdinand  brought  to  Vienna  the 
original  drafts  of  the  royal  charters  of  Rudolf  and  the  letter  of 
majesty,  and  had  them  torn  to  pieces  and  thrown  in  the  fire.  He 
was  determined  that  Bohemia,  being  now  exhausted,  should  be 
reduced  once  for  all  to  servitude.  In  1627  he  published  a  new 
constitution.  It  begins  by  declaring  the  throne  of  Bohemia 
hereditary  in  the  house  of  Hapsburg  in  the  male  and  female  lines. 
To  the  representatives  of  the  three  estates  of  the  Bohemian  diet 
(lords,  knights,  and  burghers)  a  fourth  was  added,  namely,  the 
clergy,  which  ranked  them  all.  It  comprised,  besides  the  archbishop 
of  Prague,  the  primate  of  the  kingdom,  all  those  ecclesiastics  who 
held  royal  benefices.  The  diet  was  deprived  of  all  legislative  func- 
tions, which  were  henceforth  reserved  to  the  emperor.  It  retained 
only  the  right  of  giving  its  consent  to  the  taxes,  but  without  the 
power  of  imposing  any  condition  whatsoever  upon  the  sovereign. 
It  could  deliberate  only  upon  questions  submitted  to  it  by  the  king. 
The  supreme  tribunal  was  deprived  of  all  legislative  power  and 
was  to  comply  with  the  decisions  of  the  executive;  trials  were  to 
be  held  in  secret,  and  the  German  language  was  to  be  used  equally 
with  the  Czech  in  the  law  courts  and  in  all  public  acts.  A  few 
weeks  after  the  publication  of  this  decree  a  new  order  crowned  the 
work  of  unification.  It  granted  a  period  of  six  months  to  all  those 
who  had  not  yet  been  converted,  to  accept  the  state  religion. 

The  emperor  himself  came  to  Prague  to  supervise  the  execu- 
tion of  his  orders,  to  hold  a  diet  according  to  the  new  constitution, 
and  to  have  his  son,  Ferdinand  III.,  crowned.  A  certain  number  of 
conversions  took  place,  but  many  were  insincere.  The  pretended 
Catholics  continued  to  practice  the  religion  dear  to  their  consciences 
in  the  secrecy  of  their  own  firesides  or  in  the  shades  of  the  forest. 
Great  numbers  of  Czechs  left  their  country  and  sought  in  Protes- 
tant lands  the  liberty  of  conscience  denied  them  at  home.  It  is 
estimated  that  no  less  than  thirty-six  thousand  families  emigrated, 
founding  colonies  at  Dresden,  Pima,  and  Meissen  in  Saxony  and 
at  Leszno  in  Poland. 

Moravia  was  treated  with  no  less  harshness  than  Bohemia. 
Dietrichtstein,  who  had  been  appointed  commissary-general  of  this 
province,  began  by  recalling  the  Jesuits,  casting  the  leaders  of  the 



revolt  into  prison,  and  confiscating  their  estates.  Non-Catholics 
were  forbidden  to  hold  landed  property,  and  emigrations  were 
proportionately  as  numerous  as  in  Bohemia.  Among  the  volun- 
tary exiles  ought  to  be  mentioned  the  celebrated  teacher,  John 
Komenski  (Comenius),  who  took  refuge  first  in  Poland,  finally  in 
Holland.  His  works  have  had  a  considerable  influence  on  education 
and  are  still  regarded  as  classics.  His  countryman,  Charles  of  Zero- 
tin,  took  refuge  in  Silesia.  Czech  literature  was  regarded  as  hereti- 
cal and  mercilessly  persecuted,  Czech  books  and  manuscripts  being 
sought  out  even  in  private  houses,  and  burned  by  the  zealous 
proselyters.  Thus  the  Thirty  Years*  War,  the  signal  for  which 
had  been  given  by  Bohemia,  was  to  secure  liberty  of  conscience  for 
the  rest  of  Europe,  but  to  Bohemia  herself  it  brought  nothing  but 

Exhausted  as  she  was  by  the  harsh  measures  of  Ferdinand  H., 
Bohemia  was  nevertheless  called  upon  to  furnish  soldiers  for  the 
armies  which  Wallenstein  was  leading  into  Germany.  This  famous 
soldier  of  fortune  was  born  in  the  north  of  the  kingdom,  of  a 
family  which  belonged  to  the  Bohemian  Brothers.  Left  an  orphan 
at  an  early  age,  he  was  educated  by  the  Jesuits  and  became  a 
Catholic  while  still  a  boy.  His  brother-in-law,  Charles  of  Zerotin, 
had  recommended  him  to  the  Emperor  Mathias,  and  his  first  ex- 
perience in  warfare  was  received  against  the  Turks  and  against 
Venice.  During  the  rebellion  against  the  emperor  he  remained 
faithful  and  took  part  in  the  Battle  of  the  White  Mountain.  No 
one  profited  more  than  he  by  the  ruin  of  Bohemia.  By  way  of 
payment  for  certain  debts  which  he  had  contracted  in  the  service 
of  the  emperor,  he  received  the  principality  of  Friedland,  which 
contained  no  less  than  nine  towns  and  fifty-seven  villages.  To 
these  he  added  a  large  number  of  confiscated  estates  bought  in  at  a 
low  price,  and  in  this  manner  constituted,  with  the  emperor's 
sanction,  what  virtually  amounted  to  a  petty  sovereignty,  with  the 
right  even  of  administering  justice  and  of  coining  money.  When 
in  1626  the  king  of  Denmark  came  to  the  help  of  the  Protestants 
in  Germany,  Wallenstein  offered  to  raise  and  maintain  an  army 
at  his  own  expense  for  the  service  of  the  emperor,  an  offer  that 
was  accepted.  He  collected  30,000  mercenaries  and  entered  Ger- 
many, ravaging  the  whole  country  through  which  he  passed,  and 
securing  from  the  emperor  in  return  for  his  services  first  the 
duchy  of  Sagan  in  Silesia,  next  that  of  Mecklenburg,  together  with 

THE     THIRTY     YEARS'     WAR  211 


the  title  of  Admiral  of  the  Baltic.  Wallenstein  inspired  the  Germans 
of  the  seventeenth  century  with  the  same  terror  that  they  had  felt 
for  Zizka  and  Procopius  in  the  fifteenth.  Even  the  emperor's  allies 
were  terrified  by  his  success  and  asked  for  his  recall.  He  re- 
turned to  Prague,  where  he  built  himself  a  magnificent  palace.  At 
Jiciu  he  entertained  a  court  as  brilliant  as  a  king's,  being  waited 
upon  by  sixty  pages  and  constantly  attended  by  a  bodyguard.  Men 
of  family  even  quitted  the  service  of  the  emperor  to  enter  his. 

When  the  king  of  Sweden  took  up  the  cause  of  Protestantism, 
and  it  was  found  that  Germany  had  no  general  able  to  resist  this 
formidable  adversary,  the  emperor  was  advised  to  send  for  Wallen- 
stein. He  agreed  to  take  up  arms  only  on  condition  that  he  was 
to  have  the  supreme  command,  both  military  and  political.  The 
Saxons,  the  allies  of  Gustavus  Adolphus,  had  already  penetrated 
into  Bohemia  as  far  as  Prague,  and  with  them  had  returned  a  large 
number  of  Bohemian  emigrants,  who  drove  out  the  Jesuits  and 
prepared  to  show  the  last  honors  to  the  Protestant  martyrs  whose 
heads  still  remained  exposed  on  the  tower  of  the  bridge  at  Prague. 
But  Wallenstein,  who  had  assembled  his  army  at  Znaim  in  Moravia, 
also  entered  Bohemia,  drove  out  the  Saxons,  and  followed  the 
Swedes  through  Bavaria  and  Saxony.  A  battle  was  fought  at  the 
tragic  field  of  Liitzen,  where  Gustavus  Adolphus  fell,  November  i6, 
1362,  but  the  Swedes  stood  their  ground  and  Wallenstein  with- 
drew to  winter  in  Bohemia.  But  during  all  this  time,  while  fight- 
ing the  enemies  of  the  emperor,  Wallenstein  was  negotiating  with 
them  in  the  hopes  of  realizing  his  boundless  ambition  of  securing 
territorial  sovereignty  in  Germany  and  perhaps  the  crown  of  Bo- 
hemia. These  negotiations  excited  the  suspicions  and  the  fears 
of  the  court,  and  he  was  assassinateed  on  February  25,  1634. 
It  is  difficult  to  determine  how  far  he  was  guilty  or  who  gave 
the  order  for  his  assassination.  What  is  certain  is  that  Ferdi- 
nand, while  ordering  three  thousand  masses  to  be  said  for  the 
repose  of  his  soul,  divided  the  greater  part  of  his  estates  among 
the  men  who  had  taken  part  in  the  plot  against  him.  Wallenstein, 
whose  tragic  end  has  inspired  one  of  Schiller's  great  plays,  has  left 
behind  him  a  name  which  inspires  astonishment  and  contempt,  and 
his  countrymen  curse  his  memory.  The  year  of  Wallenstein's  death 
saw  the  Swedes  again  before  the  walls  of  Prague,  but  they  were 
unable  to  enter  the  city,  and  were  soon  obliged  to  leave  Bohemia. 

The  elector  of  Saxony,  Frederick,  concluded  a  peace  with  the 



emperor,  and  received  from  him  the  province  of  Lusatia,  which  he 
held  as  a  fief  from  the  crown  of  Bohemia,  and  which  has  remained 
ever  since  a  part  of  Saxony.  Indeed,  the  province  was  already 
largely  Germanized  in  the  sixteenth  century,  and  to-day  there  are 
but  few  remains  of  the  old  Slav  population  to  be  found.  Under 
Ferdinand  III.  (1637-1657)  the  Swedes  again  returned  to  Bohemia 
under  their  leader.  Banner.  The  land  was  left  to  its  fate  by  the 
emperor,  and  suffered  terribly  from  those  who  twenty  years  before 
had  been  its  allies  and  who  now  remained  for  a  whole  year  as 
its  conquerors.  Region  after  region  was  ravaged  and  the  enemy 
carried  off  everything  they  could  lay  their  hands  on.  But  in  1640 
the  imperial  army  returned  and  the  Swedes  were  forced  to  retire. 
Ferdinand  himself  came  to  reside  in  Prague  in  order  to  organize 
the  defense  of  the  kingdom  in  person.  But  in  1645- 1647  the  Swedes 
under  Torstenson  again  invaded  the  country  and  crushed  the  im- 
perial forces,  following  the  retreating  Austrians  into  upper  Aus- 
tria. In  1648  the  new  Swedish  general,  Konigsmarck,  got  into 
Prague  itself  by  stratagem,  but  was  forced  to  withdraw  because  of 
the  desperate  resistance  of  the  inhabitants.  He  then  besieged  the 
city,  but  the  siege  was  interrupted  by  the  Peace  of  Westphalia, 
and  Prague  was  saved. 

No  country  had  suffered  more  cruelly  during  the  Thirty  Years* 
War  than  Bohemia.  Towns  and  villages  were  destroyed  or  de- 
populated, the  people  starving  and  wretched,  the  land  untilled  and 
trade  ruined.  A  kingdom  which — without  including  Lusatia, 
Moravia,  and  Silesia — counted  three  million  inhabitants  before  the 
war  was  reduced  to  seven  or  eight  hundred  thousand.  Deprived  of 
its  independence  by  the  new  constitution  and  exploited  by  a  rapa- 
cious foreign  aristocracy,  Bohemia  seemed  to  have  received  its 
death-blow.  The  sovereign  resided  at  Vienna,  and  the  government 
was  carried  on  by  high  civil  and  judicial  functionaries,  who  formed 
a  sort  of  regency.  The  high  chancellor  lived  at  Vienna,  and  the 
chancery  of  the  kingdom  of  St.  Vacslav  sank  into  a  subordinate 
position.  The  principal  dignitaries  were  the  president  of  the  court  of 
appeal  and  the  chancellor.  The  other  functionaries  had  merely  honor- 
ary titles,  with  offices  filled  only  on  the  occasion  of  a  coronation. 
Finances  were  in  the  hands  of  the  royal  chamber  in  Vienna,  and 
the  army  was  made  a  part  of  the  imperial  forces.  The  royal  cities, 
it  is  true,  retained  their  civic  guard,  but  these  were  not  a  military 
body.     The  country  was  still  divided  into  circles,  each  governed  by 

THE     THIRTY    YEARS'     WAR  213 


two  captains,  one  selected  from  the  lords,  the  other  from  the  knights. 
Towns  had  their  burgomasters  and  their  consuls,  but  they  were 
under  the  strict  surveillance  of  the  captains  and  the  royal  judges, 
while  the  peasants  were  serfs  and  absolutely  under  the  rule  of  their 
lords.  Indeed,  this  was  the  only  one  of  their  ancient  privileges 
which  the  nobles  had  been  able  to  keep,  though  it  must  not  be  for- 
gotten that  these  nobles  were  for  the  most  part  not  the  old  Czech 
nobility,  but  foreign  adventurers  hostile  to  the  Czechs  and  devoted 
to  the  sovereign  whose  creatures  they  were,  so  that  servitude 
under  them  was  far  harsher  than  it  had  ever  been  under  the  native 
aristocracy.  Religious  unity  had  been  established  by  means  of 
persecution,  as  we  have  seen,  but  in  spite  of  it  some  followers  of 
the  old  sect  remained  long  afterward,  and  down  to  the  very  end 
of  the  eighteenth  century  the  proscribed  rites  were  secretly  cele- 
brated in  rural  districts.  "  I  remember,"  says  the  refuge  Holyck, 
"  when  I  was  about  seven  years  old,  going  with  my  parents  to  a 
vast  and  gloomy  forest.  We  were  sitting  upon  a  cart  under  the 
snow-covered  trees  while  several  hundred  of  the  faithful  rapidly 
gathered  and  began  to  build  themselves  huts  of  branches.  Not 
far  off  a  bell,  hung  between  two  trees,  was  rung  for  divine  service, 
and  I  still  remember  as  in  a  dream  hearing  the  preachers  preach 
and  seeing  the  communion  administered  to  the  crowd. 
Watchful  sentinels  were  placed  at  the  corners  of  the  woods,  and  then 
all  sang  joyfully  the  praises  of  the  Lord.  The  communion  took 
place  after  the  sermon  round  the  stump  of  a  rudely  fashioned  tree. 
How  sweet  and  sublime  sounded  those  holy  hymns  in  the  depths  of 
the  forest ! " 

Two  bishoprics,  those  of  Leitmeritz  and  Hradic,  were  added 
to  that  of  Prague  in  order  to  watch  over  the  maintenance  of  the 
Catholic  faith.  But  the  most  active  agents  of  the  Catholic  res- 
toration were,  of  course,  the  religious  orders,  especially  the 
Jesuits,  Bohemia  became  the  special  province  of  this  celebrated 
order.  Indefatigable  missionaries  and  professors,  they  possessed 
themselves  of  all  public  education  and  conducted  a  bitter  warfare 
against  heretical  books  and  traditions.  Veneration  and  pilgrim- 
ages were  encouraged,  and  new  orders  of  monks  settled  in  Bo- 
hemia, no  less  than  179  new  convents  being  built.  So  great  was 
the  growth  of  the  Jesuits  that  the  court  of  Vienna  became  alarmed  at 
their  influence,  and  made  them  surrender  to  the  government  the 
control  of  the  faculties  of  law  and  medicine. 



Czech  nationality  suffered  cruelly  from  all  these  trials.  Many 
of  the  domains  of  the  lords  were  abandoned  by  the  old  in- 
habitants, who  were  replaced  by  German  colonists.  These  brought 
with  them  their  language,  which  from  that  time  on  became  the 
dominant  tongue  in  the  frontier  lands  to  the  north  and  west.  In- 
deed, it  is  from  this  period  that  the  real  German  invasion  of  Bo- 
hemia dates.  Germans  then  occupied  and  have  held  down  to  our 
own  times  almost  a  third  of  the  soil  of  the  kingdom,  and  their  lan- 
guage, favored  by  the  government  at  Vienna,  became  more  and 
more  that  of  the  upper  classes.  The  national  literature  fell  into 
neglect.  Indeed,  the  greater  part  of  the  productions  of  Bohemian 
literature  had  already  been  destroyed,  either  by  the  Jesuits  or  the 
Swedes,  while  the  new  Catholic  literature  which  took  its  place  had 
neither  the  vigor  nor  the  originality  of  the  old.  It  was,  however, 
tolerably  prolific,  and  proves  the  vitality  of  the  national  language, 
which  in  spite  of  its  harsh  experiences  is  more  flourishing  to-day 
than  ever.  The  religious  works  of  this  period  fill  in  the  gap  be- 
tween the  brilliant  period  of  the  Hussite  movement  and  the  literary 
renaissance  of  the  eighteenth  century. 

Between  this  renaissance  and  the  period  of  decadence  which 
began  under  the  reign  of  Ferdinand  II.,  the  history  of  Bohemia 
presents  few  points  of  interest.  She  has  not,  like  Hungary,  tu- 
multuous diets  at  Presburg  or  revolts  in  Transylvania.  One  or 
two  events  only  need  be  mentioned.  In  1680  an  agrarian  revolt 
broke  out  in  the  circle  of  Caslav.  The  peasants  took  up  arms  and 
sent  delegates  to  Prague  to  complain  of  the  tyranny  of  the  lords. 
They  declared  that  they  were  treated  more  harshly  than  if  ruled  by 
Turks  or  Tatars,  and  demanded  alleviation  of  their  misery.  The 
delegates  were  thrown  into  prison  and  two  regiments  were  sent 
against  the  revolted  peasants.  Upon  this  the  revolt  broke  out 
worse  than  ever  in  the  circles  of  Leitmeritz  and  of  Pilsen,  and  it  was 
only  with  great  difficulty  that  the  movement  was  suppressed.  In 
the  War  of  the  Spanish  Succession  Joseph  I.,  as  king  of  Bohemia, 
concluded  a  treaty  with  the  German  princes  by  which  he  undertook 
to  contribute  for  Bohemia  to  the  common  expenses  of  the  empire, 
and  in  return  the  princes  guaranteed  the  integrity  of  his  kingdom. 
But  the  crown  of  Bohemia  remained  independent  of  the  empire. 
This  treaty  is  sometimes  regarded  as  the  prologue  to  the  one  which 
later  included  Bohemia  in  the  Germanic  Confederation.  It  was  con- 
cluded without  any  reference  to  the  opinion  of  the  diet  of  the 

THE     THIRTY    YEARS'    WAR  215 


kingdom.  Charles  VI.  paid  more  attention  to  the  estates,  for  he 
wished  to  secure  the  crown  for  his  daughter,  and  laid  before  them 
the  famous  Pragmatic  Sanction  for  their  approval,  which  they 
adopted  on  October  i6,  1720.  The  same  monarch  appointed  a 
permanent  committee  of  the  diet  in  Bohemia  to  administer  those 
current  affairs  which  properly  fell  within  the  jurisdiction  of  that 

Chapter    XVIII 

HUNGARY  DIVIDED.    1526-1564 

IN  Hungary,  as  in  Bohemia,  the  defeat  of  Mohacs  left  the  field 
free  to  Austrian  ambition.  A  great  number  of  patriots, 
Verboeczy  at  their  head,  thought  that  a  national  king  should 
be  chosen.  Meeting  in  a  diet  near  Tokay,  they  proclaimed  John 
Szapolyai,  under  the  name  of  John  I.  The  Szapolyais  had  already 
played  a  great  part  in  the  history  of  Hungary.  Stephen  Szapolyai 
had  taken  Vienna  in  1425,  and  had  been  lieutenant  of  Mathias 
Corvinus  in  Austria.  His  son  John  was  voievode  of  Transylvania, 
and  in  crushing  the  jacquerie  of  the  kurucs  had  rendered  to  the 
Magyar  aristocracy  signal  services.  Under  the  reign  of  Louis 
he  had,  together  with  Verboeczy,  and  the  Archbishop  Bakracz, 
exercised  a  veritable  regency.  It  has  been  asserted  that  he  was  even 
then  aspiring  to  the  throne,  and  that  if  he  did  not  go  to  the  aid 
of  King  Louis  it  was  because  he  desired  a  disaster  that  would  give 
free  scope  to  his  own  ambitions.  Be  that  as  it  may,  he  was 
crowned,  in  1526,  by  the  bishop  of  Nitra;  but  another  diet  had 
assembled  at  Presburg  which  proclaimed  Ferdinand  of  Austria. 
Ferdinand  had  the  advantage  of  having  been  crowned  with  the 
true  crown  of  St.  Stephen,  for  which  the  patriotic  Magyars 
have  always  had  a  superstitious  veneration.  The  troops  of  Ferdi- 
nand drove  back  those  of  Szapolyai  and  compelled  him  to  take 
refuge  in  Poland ;  a  united  diet  met  at  Buda  and  declared  Szapolyai 
and  Verboeczy  enemies  to  the  fatherland.  Szapolyai  then  turned 
to  the  side  from  which  it  would  seem  that  Hungary  might  least 
dream  of  hoping  for  aid :  he  sent  his  agent  to  the  Sultan  Suleiman. 
Suleiman  promised  his  cooperation  in  exchange  for  the  hom- 
age of  Hungary;  he  deigned,  according  to  his  own  words,  "to 
cede  to  Szapolyai  a  kingdom  which  belonged  to  the  conqueror  of 
Mohacs  by  the  rights  of  war  and  of  the  saber."  On  the  other 
hand.  King  Francis  I.  agreed  to  a  treaty  that  gave  to  the  young 
duke  of  Orleans  the  succession  of  Szapolyai,  in  case  the  latter  left 
no  male  child.     He  accorded  to  the  king  of  Hungary  an  annual 




subsidy  of  twenty  thousand  crowns.  At  the  same  time  Friar 
Martinuzzi,  of  the  Croatian  family  of  Utiesenovic,  prior  of  the 
famous  PoHsh  sanctuary  of  Czenstochowa,  traveled  through  Hun- 
gary striving  to  make  enemies  for  Austria  and  adherents  for 

In  the  spring  of  the  year  1529  Suleiman  entered  Hungary,  this 
time  not  as  a  conqueror,  but  as  a  suzerain.  Not  far  from  Mohacs 
Szapolyai  appeared  before  him  and  kissed  the  hand  that  had  in- 
flicted such  terrible  disasters  on  his  country.  He  allowed  the  holy 
crown,  that  palladium  of  Hungarian  independence,  to  be  carried 
away  by  the  Ottomans,  and  accepted  the  Turkish  garrisons  which 
established  themselves  at  Buda  and  at  Gran.  But  the  troops  which 
Suleiman  led  to  the  aid  of  Hungary  made  almost  as  many  ravages 
in  this  vassal  country  as  in  that  of  an  enemy.  "  The  Magyars," 
says  one  of  their  historians,  "  scarcely  knew  which  they  should 
hate  the  more,  the  Austrians  who  came  to  attack  them  or  the 
Osmanlis  who  came  to  defend  them."  Suleiman  failed  at  the  siege 
of  Vienna,  and  in  1531  a  truce  was  concluded  between  the  two 
kings  of  Hungary.  After  long  conflicts  an  agreement  was  reached 
between  the  two  pretenders.  By  the  Treaty  of  Varad  (1538)  Fer- 
dinand and  the  Emperor  Charles  V.  recognized  Szapolyai  as  king 
of  Hungary.  In  return  he  guaranteed  to  Ferdinand  the  succession, 
even  in  case  he  should  have  a  son. 

Two  years  later  Szapolyai  died,  leaving  a  young  son.  Ver- 
boeczy  and  the  queen-dowager,  a  daughter  of  Sigismund,  refused 
to  disinherit  him,  and  appealed  for  aid  to  the  sultan.  The  Ottoman 
sovereign  welcomed  this  opportunity  for  intervening  in  the  affairs 
of  Hungary.  He  recognized  the  son  of  Szapolyai  as  king,  and 
himself  marched  to  his  assistance.  Ferdinand,  reduced  to  conquer- 
ing his  kingdom,  was  besieging  Buda  and  had  invested  it  rigor- 
ously. The  city  was  on  the  point  of  surrendering  when  Suleiman 
arrived;  the  Austrians,  taken  between  two  fires,  were  crushed; 
their  general,  Roggendorf,  died  of  his  wounds.  But  the  grand 
seigneur  was  resolved  to  be  paid  dearly  for  his  succor;  he  had  the 
little  king  of  Hungary  brought  to  him,  covered  him  with  caresses, 
and  recommended  his  sons  to  love  him  as  their  own  brother. 
Meanwhile  his  troops  occupied  Buda.  Once  master  of  the  place. 
Suleiman  declared  that  he  would  continue  to  occupy  it,  since  John 
Sigismund  was  not  of  an  age  to  defend  it.  He  assigned  him 
Transylvania  as  a  residence,  of  which  he  named  him  voievode. 



The  queen-dowager  protested  in  vain  against  this  humiHation,  It 
was  necessary  to  set  out  for  this  exile,  whither  the  Monk  Mar- 
tinuzzi  accompanied  them.  The  court  of  the  young  prince  was 
estabHshed  at  the  chateau  of  Lippa.  "  From  this  time,"  says 
Sayous,  "  there  were  three  Hungarys :  western  Hungary,  the  king- 
dom of  Ferdinand ;  central  Hungary,  occupied  by  the  Turks  and 
governed  by  the  pasha  of  Buda ;  and  eastern  Hungary,  which  formed 
the  independent  principality  of  Transylvania." 

The  principal  church  of  Buda  was  transformed  into  a  mosque, 
and  Verboeczy  had  the  humiliating  honor  of  being  appointed  the 
supreme  judge  of  the  Christians  of  Buda,  subjects  of  the  grand 
seigneur.    He  died  a  short  time  afterward. 

The  success  of  Suleiman  was  not  only  a  defiance  to  the  ambi- 
tion of  the  Austrian  claimant,  but  also  to  the  peace  and  security 
of  the  whole  Christian  world.  The  German  princes  offered  their 
aid  to  Ferdinand ;  the  noblemen  of  the  greatest  families  put  them- 
selves at  his  service;  Martinuzzi,  always  much  occupied  in  holding 
the  balance  between  the  German  and  the  Turk,  the  interests  of 
Hungary,  and  his  own  personal  ambition,  renewed  the  Treaty  of 
Varad,  in  1541,  joining  to  it  one  stipulation,  however,  that  Ferdi- 
nand should  expel  the  Ottomans.  But  the  expedition  of  the  Ger- 
mans did  not  succeed ;  in  vain  the  Hungarian  diet  asked  for  further 
assistance  from  them,  Suleiman  made  himself  master  of  Gran 
and  of  Stuhlweissenburg.  To  the  misfortune  of  Hungary,  the 
struggles  of  Protestants  and  Catholics  then  divided  Germany.  The 
greater  part  of  the  Hungarians,  treated  with  relative  mildness  by 
their  Mussulman  conquerors,  accustomed  themselves  to  their  domi- 
nation. Martinuzzi,  "  that  monk  of  wicked  and  unfortunate 
caprices,"  as  Ferdinand  wrote,  negotiated  anew  with  Suleiman. 

In  the  midst  of  this  agitated  period  Martinuzzi  was  the  true 
master  of  the  country.  He  continued  between  the  three  sovereigns, 
Ferdinand,  Szapolyai,  and  Suleiman,  that  see-saw  policy  which  be- 
trayed his  double  education,  Slav  and  Italian.  He  offered  Transyl- 
vania to  Ferdinand,  and  drew  upon  that  unfortunate  country  a 
Turkish  invasion;  then  he  turned  anew  against  the  Austrians,  and 
persuaded  the  dowager-queen  to  renounce  the  crown  to  Ferdinand. 
She  gave  up  the  royal  insignia  at  the  diet  of  Klausenburg.  But 
the  Austrian  king  had  little  confidence  in  this  equivocal  personage, 
who  knew  how  to  play  so  many  parts  at  once.  He  sent  the  con- 
dottiere  Castaldo,  assisted  by  unscrupulous  Italians,  who  could  be 



depended  upon  for  a  hazardous  stroke,  into  Transylvania  to  watch 
him.  And  notwithstanding  the  fact  that  he  had  recently  been 
made  a  cardinal,  he  was  soon  assassinated,  struck  down  by  sixty- 
six  blows  delivered  by  these  hired  assassins.  So  ended  this  curious 
personage,  who  has  been  compared,  not  without  reason,  to  Wallen- 
stein.  The  court  of  Rome  launched  her  thunderbolts  against  the 
assassins  guilty  of  having  laid  violent  hands  on  a  prince  of  the 
church;  but  Ferdinand,  who  did  not  dissimulate  the  part  he  had 
taken  to  "  despatch  Friar  Georges,"  succeeded  in  obtaining  from 
Pope  Julius  III.  absolution  for  the  murder. 

The  death  of  Martinuzzi  did  not  deliver  Hungary  from  the 
scourge  of  war,  Temesvar  succumbed,  in  spite  of  an  admirable 
defense.  Eger  defended  itself  with  no  less  heroism.  Summoned 
to  surrender,  the  besieged,  as  their  only  response,  planted  on  the 
rampart  four  pikes  surmounted  by  a  coffin  draped  in  black.  The 
Turks  made  an  assault  four  times  on  the  intrepid  city,  where  the 
women  rivaled  the  men  in  valor ;  more  than  8,000  of  the  defenders 
perished  under  the  walls,  in  1552.  Isabelle  Szapolyai,  in  the  midst 
of  these  miseries,  in  despair  of  reconquering  the  whole  of  Hungary 
for  her  son,  after  having  sought  and  obtained  the  promise  of  aid 
from  France  to  secure  Transylvania  for  him,  died  in  1559. 

The  situation  of  Hungary  proper  was  in  all  respects  deplor- 
able. Ferdinand  left  vacant  those  offices,  like  that  of  palatine, 
which  had  to  be  filled  by  natives,  put  the  administration  in  the 
hands  of  Germans,  and  gave  the  military  command  to  foreigners. 
He  had  to  conclude,  in  1562,  a  treaty  with  the  Turks,  which  recog- 
nized the  possession  of  their  conquests  and  promised  them  an  an- 
nual present.  It  was,  in  effect,  only  a  disguised  tribute.  Ferdinand 
had  at  least  the  consolation  of  seeing  his  son  Maximilian  crowned, 
in  1563,  at  Presburg. 

This  prince  (1564-1576)  continued  his  father's  policy.  The 
peace  concluded  by  Suleiman  and  Ferdinand  had  but  a  short  dura- 
tion. In  1566  Suleiman  attacked  the  town  of  Szigeth,  west  of 
Mohacs,  north  of  the  Drave.  It  was  commanded  by  the  Croat 
Zrinyi  or  Zrinski,  the  old  ban  of  Croatia.  The  waters  of  the  river 
Almas  surrounded  like  a  lake  this  little  city,  of  which  the  garrison 
numbered  no  more  than  2,500  men.  The  suburbs  burned,  Zrinyi 
took  refuge  in  the  castle ;  there  the  Turks  endeavored  to  force  him 
to  surrender,  sometimes  by  terror,  threatening  to  cut  the  throat 
of  his  son  George,  whom  they  held  prisoner,  sometimes  by  the  most 



seductive  promises.  Suleiman,  in  an  access  of  fury,  died  before  the 
impregnable  city.  The  Vizier  Sokoli,  however,  concealed  his  death 
from  the  besieged.  Meanwhile  the  castle  fell  to  pieces  under  the 
artillery;  Zrinyi  clothed  himself  in  his  most  magnificent  garments, 
put  gold  in  his  pockets,  "  so  that  something  might  be  found  on  his 
corpse,"  and  at  the  head  of  his  remaining  soldiers  threw  himself 
into  the  midst  of  the  Turks.  There  he  found  the  death  which  he 
sought.  That  of  Suleiman  was  only  revealed  to  the  troops  after 
the  reduction  of  the  town.  Szigeth,  of  which  both  Slav  and  Hun- 
garian poetry  have  chanted  the  tragic  fate,  remained  in  the  hands 
of  the  Turks  till  1689.  Maximilian  also  allowed  the  town  of 
Gyula  to  be  taken,  and  in  1568  signed  two  treaties  with  the  new 
Sultan  Selim,  which  sanctioned  once  more  the  dismemberment 
of  Hungary. 

The  condition  of  those  parts  of  Hungary  that  were  under 
Turkish  domination  became  almost  as  miserable  as  that  of  the 
Servian  and  Bulgarian  provinces;  the  orders  of  the  pashas  often 
began  with  this  formula :  "  In  the  name  of  the  all-powerful  em- 
peror, know  that  if  you  disobey,  the  punishment  is  ready  and  the 
funeral  pyre  awaits  you."  The  towns  occupied  by  the  Turks  were 
covered  with  ruins ;  the  Janissaries  kidnaped  the  young  Hungarians 
in  order  to  make  them  enter  the  army  of  the  grand  seigneur;  the 
imposts  were  heavy,  sometimes  crushing,  and  collected  by  chance. 
From  the  administrative  point  of  view  the  country  was  divided  into 
twenty-five  sandjaks,  redivided  later  into  four  eyalets  (those  of 
Buda,  Eger,  Kanisza,  and  Temesvar).  The  autonomy  of  the 
comitats,  however,  was  respected,  and  they  had,  in  certain  respects, 
especially  from  the  religious  point  of  view,  more  liberty  than  those 
in  the  Austrian  parts  of  the  kingdom. 

Maximilian  also  recognized  the  sovereignty  of  John  Sigis- 
mund  Szapolyai  in  Transylvania.  The  young  prince  renounced 
the  title  of  king  and  contented  himself  with  that  of  Most  Serene 
Prince.  He  died  in  1571,  and  with  him  ended  the  dynasty  of 
Szapolyai.  The  Transylvanian  diet  elected  as  his  successor  the 
wise  Stephen  Batory,  who  was  called  to  high  destinies;  Poland 
had  given  kings  to  Hungary:  Transylvania,  in  1575,  gave  to  Po- 
land one  of  her  most  remarkable  sovereigns. 

The  throne  of  Poland  had  become  vacant  by  the  departure  of 
the  French  king,  Henry  of  Valois.  Maximilian  H.  and  Batory 
announced  their  candidature ;  Batory  was  elected.     The  Poles  con- 



sider  his  reign  one  of  the  most  glorious  of  their  history.  He  took 
with  him  to  his  new  kingdom  some  Hungarians,  who  improved 
the  military  service,  especially  the  artillery.  Maximilian  did  not 
long  survive  this  blow.  He  took  care  before  his  death  to  have  his 
son  Rudolf  crowned  at  Presburg.  Maximilian,  whose  tolerant 
and  liberal  spirit  was  not  popular  in  the  kingdom  which  he  showed 
himself  so  incapable  of  defending,  was,  nevertheless,  when  comi- 
pared  with  his  immediate  successors,  one  of  the  best  sovereigns  of 
mutilated  Hungary. 

The  condition  of  Austrian  Hungary  during  this  period  was 
but  little  better  than  that  of  Ottoman  Hungary ;  continual  warfare 
prevailed.  The  national  militia  being  naturally  insufficient,  the 
Austrian  prince  covered  the  country  with  foreign  troops,  who  were 
often  as  oppressive  as  the  Mussulmans.  Each  comitat  recruited 
soldiers  for  the  national  defense,  and  we  have  seen  how  these  native 
troops,  the  honveds,  distinguished  themselves  at  the  defense  of  Eger 
and  Szigeth. 

Another  important  fact  ot  this  period  was  the  spread  of  the 
Reformation  among  the  Magyars.  In  spite  of  the  political  an- 
tagonism between  Hungary  and  Bohemia,  the  doctrines  of  Huss 
had  filtered  into  the  kingdom  of  St.  Stephen  and  prepared  men's 
minds  for  religious  changes.  The  causes  which  predisposed  the 
Catholics  of  Hungary  to  this  change  were  the  same  as  in  the 
neighboring  countries.  Abuses  had  grown  up  within  the  church. 
Hungarian  genius,  less  original  and  cultivated  than  that  of  Bo- 
hemia and  Germany,  had  not  in  itself  energy  enough  to  bring 
about  the  Reformation;  yet  it  was  supple  and  docile  enough  to 
accept  it.  The  German  colonies  of  Transylvania  formed,  be- 
sides, a  sort  of  transition  between  Germany  and  Hungary.  As 
early  as  the  reign  of  Louis  II.,  one  year  before  the  battle  of 
Mohacs,  the  diet,  at  the  instance  of  the  terrified  clergy,  decreed 
the  punishment  of  heretics  by  fire.  The  dismemberment  of  Hun- 
gary favored  the  extension  of  the  new  doctrines;  the  diverse 
masters  who  divided  the  kingdom  among  themselves  were  not 
able  to  give  the  persecution  that  unity  necessary  for  a  successful 
struggle  against  heresy.  In  Transylvania  Pastor  Honter  early 
multiplied  books  and  schools;  in  Hungary  the  first  Reformer  was 
Devay,  who  had  known  Luther  personally  at  Wittenberg.  He 
translated  the  epistles  of  St.  Paul  into  Magyar.  Some  of  the 
nobles  became  adherents  of  the  new  doctrines,  and  after   1548 



the  diets  ceased  to  pass  laws  of  persecution.  The  Evangelical 
church  freely  organized  itself  on  the  basis  of  the  Confession  of 
Augsburg.  But  it  was  Calvinism  that  especially  established  itself 
in  the  center  of  Hungary,  in  the  valley  of  the  Theiss.  Calvinista 
hit,  Magyar  hit:  the  Calvinistic  faith  is  the  true  Magyar  faith,  says  a 
proverb.  Lutheranism  was  of  German  origin,  and  as  such  sus- 
pected by  patriots.  It  was  at  Debreczen  that  the  new  sect  estab- 
lished itself;  ii  had  as  a  leader  Pastor  Juhasz,  who,  following 
the  fashion  of  the  time,  Grecianized  his  name  into  that  of  Melius. 
He  translated  the  Scriptures,  composed  songs,  and  entered  into  re- 
lations with  Theodore  de  Beza.  In  1567  the  Synod  of  Debreczen 
formulated  in  seventy-four  articles  the  creed  of  the  Magyar  Cal- 
vinistic church.  John  Huss  had  renewed  Czech  prose,  and  Luther 
German  prose;  the  Hungarian  Reformers,  Devay,  Erdoesi  (Jo- 
hannes Sylvester  Pannonicus),  Caspar  Heltai,  and  Karoly,  ren- 
dered the  same  service  to  their  country.  In  spite  of  the  Catholic 
and  Ultramontane  dynasty,  Protestanism  became  for  Hungary  a 
new  force. 

The  reign  of  Rudolf  (i 576-1612)  did  not  tend  to  make  the 
house  of  Austria  any  more  popular.  At  the  beginning  of  his  reign 
the  diet  made  known  the  grievances  of  the  country.  It  demanded 
guarantees  from  the  sovereign  and  wished  that  the  relations  with 
Turkey  might  be  regulated  by  national  ambassadors,  and  not  by 
Germans  or  Italians,  strangers  to  the  interests  of  the  kingdom. 
Rudolf  was  so  wounded  by  this  language  that  he  left  Hungary 
and  never  returned.  For  four  years  he  did  not  convoke  the  diet, 
and  did  not  have  a  palatine  appointed.  A  friend  of  the  arts  and 
occult  sciences,  imbued  with  absolutist  doctrines,  he  did  not  love 
the  barbarous,  independent  spirit  of  Hungary ;  he  consulted  it  only 
when  in  need  of  subsidies.  A  Venetian  ambassador  sums  it  up 
thus :  "  The  Hungarians  detest  the  house  of  Austria ;  they  con- 
sider themselves  not  only  as  conquered,  but  as  scorned  by  her,  since 
they  have  imposed  upon  them  the  government  of  the  Germans, 
their  natural  enemies." 

Meanwhile  the  war  continued  with  the  Turks.  In  order  to 
hold  in  check  the  Mussulman  invaders,  the  emperor  accorded  to 
Servian  colonists  certain  districts  between  the  Unna  and  the  Kulpa, 
charging  them  with  the  defense  of  the  frontier.  Those  abandoned 
districts,  called  by  contemporaries  desertum  primum,  desertum 
secundum,  were  thus  repeopled  by  a  population  at  the  same  time 



agricultural  and  warlike,  and  we  have  here  the  beginning  of  the 
military  frontier  which  has  lasted  to  our  own  time.  In  1577  the 
fortress  of  Karlstadt  was  constructed  in  order  to  defend  Croatia 
against  Mussulman  invasions.  In  1592,  Hasan,  pasha  of  Bosnia, 
was  defeated  under  the  walls  of  Sisek.  In  1595  the  town  of  Gran 
was  captured  by  the  combined  troops  of  the  empire  and  Hungary. 
This  advantage  was  unfortunately  neutralized  for  by  the  loss  of 
Eger.  Defended  by  natives,  this  town  had  been  impregnable; 
confided  this  time  to  a  garrison  composed  in  great  part  of  Walloon 
mercenaries,  it  capitulated.  Other  engagements  mark  the  war,  but 
the  ardor  of  the  Turks  was  diminishing,  and  in  1601,  after  their 
victory  before  Kanisza,  they  agreed  to  a  peace  by  which  they  kept 
their  possessions.  During  this  war,  in  which  the  Austrians  had 
introduced  Walloons,  Spaniards,  and  Italians  into  the  country,  and 
the  Turks  the  Tatars,  the  Magyars  suffered  as  much  from  their  allies 
as  from  their  enemies. 

It  is  in  Transylvania,  that  trilingual  Hungary,  with  its  Mag- 
yars, Germans,  and  Wallachians,  that  the  conflict  for  control  dur- 
ing the  next  few  years  takes  place.  Stephen  Batory  governed  the 
principality  ably  from  1571  to  1575,  but  in  introducing  the  Jesuits 
he  prepared  for  grave  religious  conflicts.  One  of  his  successors, 
Sigismund  Batory,  feeble-spirited  and  dominated  by  the  Jesuits, 
themselves  entirely  devoted  to  the  emperor,  consented  in  1597  to 
cede  Transylvania  to  Rudolf,  in  exchange  for  the  principalities 
of  Oppela  and  of  Ratibor,  in  Silesia.  But  upon  the  advice  of  his 
uncle.  Cardinal  Andrew  Batory,  he  revoked  this  decision.  A  con- 
flict with  Austria  ensued,  and  at  the  same  time  Michael,  voievode 
of  Wallachia,  attacked  the  principality  in  the  hope  of  being  granted 
it  by  the  Ottomans.  Weary  of  war,  Sigismund  abdicated  and 
retired  to  Prague,  where  he  died  in  161 3.  Transylvania  was 
then  invaded  by  the  imperialists  and  governed  by  General  Basta, 
whose  occupation  has  left  most  execrable  memories.  The  ex- 
actions of  the  Austrians  made  Mussulman  domination  almost 
desired;  the  Protestants,  whom  the  Turks  had  left  in  peace, 
were  systematically  persecuted.  Such  violence  could  scarcely  fail 
to  excite  a  bloody  reaction.  The  Transylvanians  arose,  in  concert 
with  the  Magyars  of  Upper  Hungary,  exasperated  by  the  brutali- 
ties of  the  imperial  lieutenant,  Belgiojoso.  All  these  foreign  ad- 
venturers treated  the  kingdom  as  a  conquered  country,  and  made 
the  Austrian  dynasty  detested.     The  Transylvanians  had  at  their 



head  a  great  lord,  full  of  audacity  and  of  military  talent,  Stephen 
Bocskai ;  he  was  seconded  by  the  young  Gabriel  Bethlen.  The  im- 
perialists were  defeated  before  Kaschau  (or  Kassa),  which  opened 
its  gates,  and  the  diet  proclaimed  Bocskai  voievode  of  Transyl- 
vania. The  new  voievode  showed  himself  to  be  as  skillful  a  diplo- 
matist as  he  was  a  valiant  general;  he  negotiated  with  the  Turks 
and  assured  himself  of  the  support  of  the  sultan,  Achmet  II.,  who 
even  offered  to  recognize  him  as  king  of  all  Hungary.  Bocskai 
was  prudent  enough  to  decline  that  dignity.  By  the  Peace  of 
Vienna,  in  1606,  his  rule  was  recognized  not  only  over  Transyl- 
vania, but  also  over  a  part  of  northern  Hungary;  should  he  die 
without  heirs  these  provinces  were  to  return  to  the  house  of  Aus- 
tria. The  Peace  of  Vienna  stipulated,  besides,  liberty  of  conscience 
for  Protestants,  the  obligation  for  an  archduke  to  reside  in  the 
kingdom  in  the  absence  of  the  king,  and  the  engagement  to  reserve 
to  natives  alone  military  command  and  the  public  offices. 

The  kingdom  of  St.  Stephen,  with  Transylvania,  Croatia, 
Slavonia,  and  Dalmatia,  included  at  this  time  5163  square  miles. 
The  house  of  Austria  held  1222,  the  Porte  1859,  and  Bocskai  2082. 

The  Treaty  of  Vienna  was  brought  about  by  the  efforts  of  the 
Archduke  Mathias,  who  strove  to  make  up  by  force  of  energy  for 
the  indolence  of  his  brother,  Rudolf.  Once  governor  of  Austrian 
Hungary,  he  attempted  to  claim  the  discontent  of  the  nation.  He 
did  not  succeed,  however,  in  annexing  Transylvania  after  the  sud- 
den death  of  Bocskai  in  1606.  The  diet  of  that  province,  meeting 
at  Klausenburg,  elected  Sigismund  Rakoczy,  and  then  Gabriel 
Batory,  after  Rakoczy  had  voluntarily  renounced  the  princely 
title,  in  1608. 

That  same  year  Mathias,  it  will  be  remembered,  compelled  his 
brother  to  cede  Austria  and  Hungary  to  him.  His  reign  did  not 
carry  out  all  the  hopes  to  which  his  efforts  as  archduke  had  given 
rise.  But  he  restored  to  the  kingdom  its  national  dignitary,  the 
palatine,  and  engaged  himself  never  to  leave  that  important  office 
vacant ;  he  restored  the  holy  crown,  withdrew  the  foreign  garrisons, 
and  recognized  liberty  of  conscience.  In  his  absence  the  palatine, 
the  royal  council  and  a  treasurer  exercised  sovereign  authority. 
These  concessions  appeased  the  sorrows  of  Hungary,  without  caus- 
ing them  to  be  completely  forgotten.  Henry  IV.  of  France  was 
not  ignorant  of  them,  and,  in  the  political  plan  which  he  meditated, 
and  which  death  prevented  him  from  putting  into  execution,  he 



intended  to  enter  Hungary.  He  wished,  to  use  the  words  of  Sully, 
"  that  the  Hungarians  might  be  put  in  possession  of  their  ancient 
freedom,  of  the  right  that  they  had  of  themselves  electing  their 
prince  or  of  changing  the  form  of  the  state  and  manner  of  govern- 
ment as  they  might  think  proper." 

After  the  coronation  of  Mathias  the  Protestant  Thurzo  was 
elected  palatine;  this  choice  was  a  strong  guarantee  for  religious 
toleration ;  but  the  traditions  and  the  usual  counselors  of  the  house 
of  Austria  rendered  its  maintenance  difficult.  Besides,  among  the 
Hungarians  themselves  the  Reformation  had  decided  adversaries. 
At  their  head  was  Cardinal  Pazmany,  a  pupil  of  the  Jesuits,  a  fiery 
prelate,  ingenious  and  eloquent,  who  brought  back  to  Catholicism 
the  representatives  of  some  of  the  greatest  families  of  the  kingdom. 
For  an  instant,  after  the  tragic  death  of  the  voievode  Batory,  the 
violence  of  which  had  provoked  Austrian  intervention,  Mathias 
conceived  the  hope  of  reconquering  Transylvania.  But  the  Tran- 
sylvanians  held  even  more  to  their  liberty  of  conscience  than  to 
their  political  independence;  they  elected  the  Protestant  Gabriel 
Bethlen  (1613-1629).  This  enlightened  prince  made  tolerance 
flourish  in  religion,  discipline  in  the  army,  and  good  order  in  the 
administration  of  the  country.  Not  without  reason  has  he  been 
compared  to  Mathias  Corvinus.  Like  that  great  king,  he  had  a 
taste  for  the  arts  and  possessed  a  fine  education.  He  held  the  bal- 
ance equal  between  Protestants  and  Catholics,  as  between  Aus- 
trians  and  Ottomans.  But  when  Ferdinand  II.  (1619-1637)  had 
mounted  the  throne  and  the  Thirty  Years'  War  broke  out,  Bethlen 
understood  that  the  interests  of  Protestantism  were  gravely  men- 
aced, and  that  Magyar  nationality  would  perhaps  be  struck  the 
same  blow  that  menaced  Bohemian  nationality. 

The  emperor  attempted  at  first  to  assure  the  neutrality  of  the 
voievode  by  sending  to  him  Nicholas  Esterhazy,  one  of  the  most 
skillful  diplomats  and  best  patriots  of  Austrian  Hungary.  Ester- 
hazy  was  one  of  those  who,  like  Francis  Deak  later,  accepted  freely 
the  Hapsburg  dynasty  and  demanded  only,  in  exchange  for  loyal 
submission,  respect  for  the  wishes  of  the  nation.  A  sincere  but 
liberal  Catholic,  he  held,  so  to  speak,  a  middle  course  between  Car- 
dinal Pazmany  and  the  Protestant  Bethlen.  That  great  prince, 
after  having  hesitated  some  time,  took  the  part  of  Bohemia.  He 
circulated  everywhere  a  manifesto  entitled  "  The  Complaints  of 
Hungary,"  and  convoked  all  the  comitats  in  a  general  diet.     This 



assembly  met  at  Kassa,  named  him  governor,  and  put  George 
Rakoczy,  as  captain  general,  at  the  head  of  the  comitats  of  the 
north.  Bethlen  sent  to  Count  Thum  a  body  of  10,000  auxiliaries, 
assured  the  independence  of  the  diet,  which  met  at  Presburg,  and 
decided  to  carry  aid  to  Bohemia,  in  1620.  The  diet  proclaimed 
Bethlen  king  of  Hungary,  at  about  the  same  time  that  Bohemia 
chose  the  elector-palatine;  unfortunately  the  Protestant  cause, 
which  the  new  sovereign  represented,  found  then  no  support  either 
in  France  or  Poland;  even  the  Turks  themselves  seemed  disin- 
terested in  the  affairs  of  Hungary.  The  defeat  of  the  Czechs  at 
the  White  Mountain  ruined  the  hopes  of  Transylvania.  Bethlen 
treated  with  Ferdinand,  and  by  the  Peace  of  Nicolsburg  renounced 
the  crown  of  Hungary.  But  he  kept  Transylvania  and  the  admin- 
istration of  the  seven  comitats  of  the  north.  He  received,  besides, 
the  title  of  prince  of  the  empire,  and  an  annual  subsidy  of  fifty 
thousand  florins. 

But  this  treaty  was  only  provisional;  Bethlen  had  the  highest 
ambitions.  He  hoped  to  find  allies,  and  negotiated  with  the 
governments  of  Holland,  England,  and  Venice  through  their  am- 
bassadors at  Constantinople.  He  established  close  relations  with 
northern  Germany  and  married  the  Princess  Catherine  of  Branden- 
burg. He  had  under  his  orders  an  entire  diplomatic  staff.  From 
1623  till  1629  he  negotiated  with  the  French  ambassador  at  Con- 
stantinople, De  Cesy,  who  encouraged  him  to  march  against 
Austria.  Yet  all  these  efforts,  and  even  an  attempted  campaign 
against  Wallenstein,  had  no  positive  result;  Bethlen  died  in  1629, 
without  in  any  way  having  modified  the  situation  which  had  brought 
about  the  Peace  of  Nicolsburg. 

Chapter  XIX 

RECONCILED   TO   AUSTRIA.     1629-1746 

GEORGE  RAKOCZY  was  chosen  to  succeed  Bethlen  in 
•  spite  of  the  pretensions  of  the  Princess-dowager  Cath- 
erine of  Brandenburg,  sustained  by  the  courts  of  France, 
Holland,  Sweden,  and  Brandenburg.  During  the  Swedish  period 
of  the  Thirty  Years'  War  Transylvania  was  tranquil.  In  Hungary 
the  palatine,  Esterhazy,  strove  to  maintain  public  liberty  against  the 
encroachments  of  the  sovereign,  but  he  was  not  able  to  prevent 
Cardinal  Pazmany  from  establishing  the  order  of  Jesuits.  They 
founded  a  university  and  took  in  hand  the  education  of  the  Cath- 
olic youth.  Under  Ferdinand  HI.,  who  succeeded  in  1637,  the  dis- 
content of  the  Protestants  of  Hungary  was  increased  by  a  series 
of  incessant  violations  of  the  Treaty  of  Vienna.  Rakoczy  believed 
the  occasion  favorable  for  declaring  war  on  Austria ;  in  spite  of  the 
supplications  of  Esterhazy,  who  begged  him  not  to  weaken  Hungary 
before  the  Turks,  he  treated  with  France  and  Sweden.  They 
promised  him  as  a  reward  for  his  cooperation  a  yearly  subsidy  of 
twelve  hundred  thousand  crowns,  and  the  religious  liberty  and 
political  independence  of  Hungary  and  Transylvania.  In  1644  he 
commenced  hostilities.  Making  himself  master  of  Kassa,  he  ad- 
vanced to  Eperies,  where  he  issued  a  proclamation  inviting  the 
Hungarians  to  revolt.  But  checked  by  the  imperial  troops,  he 
had  to  return  to  his  own  states.  He  did  not  wait  for  the  conclu- 
sion of  the  negotiations  which  led  to  the  Treaty  of  Westphalia, 
but  treated  for  himself.  The  emperor,  in  the  Peace  of  Linz,  1645, 
ceded  to  him  the  possession  of  the  comitats  of  the  north,  which 
Gabriel  Bethlen  had  already  possessed,  and  two  fortresses. 

Transylvania  prospered  greatly  under  the  reign  of  this  prince, 
who  introduced  at  his  court  and  into  his  army  the  principles  of  the 
Reformed  religion.  He  had  for  successor  his  son,  George  Rakoczy 
II.  (1648-1660),  whose  ambition  nearly  compromised  the  destinies 




of  the  principality.  He  hoped,  with  the  aid  of  Sweden,  to  reach  the 
throne  of  Poland,  like  Batory,  his  predecessor.  But  the  Porte 
would  not  allow  so  powerful  a  state  to  be  established  on  its  frontiers. 
Hence  followed  a  series  of  wars  and  invasions,  during  which 
Transylvania  was  cruelly  ravaged,  and  Greorge  was  killed  in  the 
struggle.  John  Kemenyi,  one  of  his  principal  lieutenants,  and  one 
of  the  best  writers  of  the  time,  succeeded  him  and  attempted  to 
repulse  the  Turks,  this  time  with  the  aid  of  the  emperor.  He  per- 
ished in  his  turn,  and  the  Transylvanians,  as  much  afraid  of  the 
imperial  alliance  as  of  the  ravages  of  the  Ottomans,  accepted  the 
voievode,  Michael  Apafy,  whom  the  Porte  imposed  upon  them. 

The  reign  of  Leopold  I.  (1657-1705)  left  the  saddest  mem- 
ories in  Hungary.  At  the  coronation  of  this  prince  the  diet  had 
exacted  that  the  dignity  of  palatine  should  be  reestablished  and  for- 
eign troops  removed  from  the  country;  the  Protestant  party  fur- 
thermore pleaded  in  favor  of  liberty  of  conscience,  so  often  violated. 
The  invasion  of  the  Turks  in  1664,  under  the  Grand  Vizier 
Kiuprili,  united  for  a  moment  all  the  forces  of  Hungary  and  the 
empire;  the  imperialists  were  commanded  by  the  celebrated  Monte- 
cuculli,  the  worthy  adversary  of  Turenne,  and  the  Hungarians  by 
Zrinyi,  a  descendant  of  the  famous  hero  of  Szigeth.  Zrinyi  accom- 
plished prodigies  of  chivalrous  valor,  while  Montecuculli  repre- 
sented the  severe  school  of  the  great  tacticians  of  the  Thirty  Years' 
War.  The  battle  of  St.  Gothard,  called  the  battle  of  Kormend  by 
the  Magyars,  was  fought  on  Hungarian  soil,  August  i,  1664,  and 
was  for  the  Turks  a  formidable  defeat  that  rejoiced  all  Christen- 
dom. Hungary,  however,  profited  nothing  by  this  triumph.  The 
peace  which  was  soon  concluded  at  Vasvar,  without  the  par- 
ticipation of  the  diet,  did  not  free  a  foot  of  Hungarian  soil;  a 
truce  of  twenty  years  was  concluded.  Indeed  the  Turks  received 
several  other  fortresses,  notably  Great  Varadin. 

It  seemed  as  though  the  treaty  had  been  concluded  in  the  in- 
terest of  Turkey  and  Austria  against  Hungary.  The  Emperor 
Leopold,  led  by  the  Jesuits,  and  inspired  by  the  double  fanaticism 
of  intolerance  and  monarchical  absolutism,  proposed  to  destroy  at 
the  same  time  the  Reformed  religion  and  the  liberties  of  the  king- 
dom. "  I  will  make  Hungary  a  captive,  then  a  beggar,  and  after 
that  a  Catholic,"  has  long  been  attributed  to  him,  though  history 
finds  no  evidence  to  support  the  accusation.  He  attempted  at 
first  to  suppress  the  diet  and  replace  it  by  an  assembly  of  nobles  and 



of  prelates  meeting  at  Vienna ;  but  that  body  resisted  and  thwarted 
his  projects. 

But  the  danger  to  Hungarian  liberty  continued,  and  she  could 
hope  to  find  succor  only  in  the  help  of  the  foreigner.  In  1665 
Frankopan,  a  Croatian  magnate,  allied  to  the  illustrious  family  of 
Zrinyi,  addressed  to  the  elector  of  Mainz  a  memorial  in  which  he 
said :  "  The  kingdom  of  Hungary  has  arrived  at  such  a  state  of  ruin 
and  of  misery  that,  if  God  does  not  inspire  the  Christian  princes  to 
defend  it,  all  is  at  an  end  with  this  bulwark  of  Christendom  and  of 
all  the  nations.  .  .  .  The  upper  comitats  of  Hungary  have 
reached  such  a  degree  of  despair  that  they  see  no  other  safety 
except  to  put  themselves  under  the  protection  of  the  Turks.  .  .  . 
The  Hungarians,  by  a  national  antipathy,  have  always  had  a  hor- 
ror of  the  domination  of  the  Turks.  .  .  .  However,  to-day 
extreme  necessity  reduces  them  to  such  thoughts."  Apafy  remained 
indifferent;  Zrinyi  and  Frankopan  attempted,  however,  to  incite 
Hungary  to  insurrection ;  they  collected  some  troops,  and  soon  laid 
down  their  arms  upon  the  promise  of  a  complete  amnesty.  Arrested, 
as  was  also  their  accomplice  Nadasdy,  they  were  imprisoned,  and, 
contrary  to  the  laws,  judged  without  the  territory  of  the  kingdom, 
Nadasdy  at  Vienna,  Zrinyi  and  Frankopan  at  Wiener-Neustadt, 
and  were  condemned  to  death,  the  emperor,  "  by  his  pure  grace 
imperial  and  royal "  sparing  them  from  having  the  right  hand 
cut  off. 

The  execution  of  the  three  counts  was,  moreover,  the  signal 
for  atrocious  persecutions  directed  in  turn  against  the  patriots  and 
against  the  Protestants.  Many  were  exiled,  put  to  forced  labor, 
or  sold  to  the  viceroy  of  Naples  to  row  upon  his  galleys.  But  these 
severities  did  not  stifle  the  Magyar  spirit  of  independence,  the  name 
of  the  kurucz  reappeared;  and  Louis  XIV.,  who  was  at  war  with 
Austria,  ended  by  giving  aid  to  the  malcontents.  The  French  am- 
bassador in  Poland  passed  over  to  them  both  men  and  money.  The 
insurrection  had  found  a  formidable  chief  in  the  person  of  Emerich 
Toekoeli,  who  had  married  the  widow  of  George  Rakoczy  II., 
the  valiant  Helen  Zrinyi,  Toekoeli,  whose  flag  bore  the  device, 
"  Pro  aris  et  focis"  succeeded  in  raising  an  army,  which  pushed 
its  way  vigorously  into  Moravia.  He  coined  money  bearing  his 
own  effigy,  and  exercised  a  real  sovereignty.  He  wished  to  be 
king  of  Hungary  and  counted  on  finding  allies  in  the  Turks, 
who  were  then  marching  on  Vienna.     He  went  to  meet  Kara 



Mustapha,  and  invested  Presburg  while  the  Ottomans  were 
besieging  the  Austrian  capital.  The  defeat  of  the  Turks  by 
Sobieski  was  also  a  defeat  for  him,  who  was  called  the  king  of  the 
kurucs,  and  he  was  reduced  to  carrying  on  a  guerrilla  warfare. 
Meanwhile  the  imperial  army,  victorious  over  the  Ottomans,  pene- 
trated into  Hungary  and  seized  some  of  the  principal  places,  and 
finally  Buda  itself,  which  was  recovered  after  so  long  an  occupa- 
tion. The  Turks  were  pursued  as  far  as  Mohacs,  where  they  ex- 
piated by  the  loss  of  20,000  men  their  former  victory  on  these 
plains.  Kara  Mustapha,  attributing  his  reverses  to  Toekoeli,  had 
his  old  ally  arrested  and  imprisoned  in  Belgrade;  his  captivity  put 
an  end  to  the  movement,  and  the  partisans  of  the  king  of  the 
kurucs  dispersed,  surrendering  the  places  they  occupied.  The 
fortress  of  Munkacs  alone  held  out,  defended  by  the  wife  of 
Toekoeli,  the  intrepid  Helen  Zrinyi,  whose  heroism  has  often  been 
stmg  in  Hungarian  poetry. 

The  insurrection  at  an  end,  and  Hungary  partially  regained, 
it  would  seem  that  mercy  should  have  been  the  first  duty  of  the 
conqueror.  But  Leopold  and  his  lieutenants  were  not  of  this  opin- 
ion; an  amnesty  was  proclaimed  and  violated  immediately,  the 
Italian  general  Caraffa  becoming  the  unpitying  executioner  of  im- 
perial vengeance.  Established  at  Eperies,  he  instituted  in  that  city 
a  tribunal  whose  horrors  recall  the  most  bloody  exploits  of  Spain 
in  the  Low  Countries.  During  thirty  consecutive  days  thirty  hang- 
men submitted  the  victims,  innocent  or  guilty,  to  the  most  refined 
tortures  and  the  most  horrible  deaths.  The  "  Butchery  of  Eperies," 
as  it  is  called,  is  the  most  tragic  memory  in  Hungarian  history.  The 
Emperor  Leopold  pretended,  it  is  true,  to  justify  himself  by  saying 
that  these  horrors  had  taken  place  without  his  knowledge. 

After  having  thus  terrorized  Hungary,  he  had  the  right  to 
hope  for  every  concession.  Till  this  time,  in  spite  of  persecutions, 
the  crown  had  remained  elective ;  now  he  decided  to  make  it  heredi- 
tary. The  diet  of  1687,  in  conformity  with  the  wish  of  the  sov- 
ereign, proclaimed  the  crown  hereditary  in  the  male  line  of  the 
house  of  Hapsburg.  The  proceedings  in  Hungary  had  been  the 
same  as  in  Bohemia ;  at  first  executions,  and  then  changes  more  or 
less  freely  consented  to  by  the  people.  The  king  had  to  take  oath 
to  the  fundamental  laws  of  the  country;  but  article  31  of  the  Golden 
Bull,  or  the  constitution  of  Andrew  II.,  was  abolished.  It  was 
the  one  which  proclaimed  the  right  of  insurrection.    The  diet,  in 

5^   O) 




granting  all  these  concessions,  stipulated  that  executions  should 
cease  and  the  prisoners  be  set  at  liberty,  so  a  general  amnesty  was 
proclaimed.  Toekoeli  had  already  retired  to  Nicomedia,  in  Asia, 
and  Helen  Zrinyi  surrendered  the  fortress  of  Munkacs. 

Now  that  all  Hungary  was  regained  the  Austrians  were  In 
a  position  to  free  the  country  from  the  Turks.  In  1688  they 
crossed  the  Danube  and  captured  Belgrade  and  Nisch.  But  the 
Turks  under  their  new  leader,  Mustapha  Kiuprili,  had  awakened 
from  their  lassitude,  pushed  up  the  Danube  and  regained  both  places. 
Mustapha  next  invaded  Hungary,  but  there  he  was  defeated  and 
slain  by  the  Austrians  under  Louis  of  Baden  in  1691.  But  the 
war  continued,  and  with  the  aid  of  Toekoeli,  who  had  returned,  the 
Turks  entered  Transylvania,  where  they  held  their  own  till  Prince 
Eugene  of  Savoy  assumed  command  of  the  imperialists.  This 
young  prince,  who  became  so  formidable  an  antagonist  of  the  Turks, 
was  in  upper  Hungary  in  1697,  when  he  heard  of  the  approach 
of  the  Turks  by  way  of  the  valley  of  the  Theiss.  He  immediately 
threw  a  bridge  over  the  river  at  Zenta,  and  was  preparing  to  attack 
the  enemy,  when  he  received  orders  from  the  emperor,  by  courier, 
forbidding  him  to  fight.  He  found  the  position  of  his  troops,  how- 
ever, such  as  to  justify  disobedience,  and  the  brilliant  victory  of 
Zenta  justified  his  audacity.  More  than  10,000  Turks  perished,  a 
great  number  being  thrown  into  the  Theiss ;  the  sultan  fled  to  Tem- 
esvar,  and  thence  to  Constantinople.  Winter  prevented  Prince  Eu- 
gene from  following  up  his  advantages,  and  the  emperor,  preoccu- 
pied with  the  succession  to  the  throne  of  Spain,  granted  peace  to  the 
Ottomans  in  1699.  A  treaty  was  concluded  at  Carlo witz,  by  which 
the  sultan  agreed  not  to  help  the  Hungarian  malcontents,  and  to 
abandon  all  claim  to  Transylvania.  Of  all  her  old  possessions  in 
Hungary,  Turkey  was  allowed  to  keep  only  the  small  territory  of 
Temesvar,  the  emperor  getting  the  rest — Hungary,  the  larger  part 
of  Croatia,  Slavonia,  and  the  suzerainty  over  Transylvania.  A  spe- 
cial clause  in  this  Treaty  of  Carlowitz  stipulated  for  the  main- 
tenance at  Buda  of  the  tomb  of  a  Mussulman  monk,  Gul  Baba, 
"  the  Father  of  Roses  " ;  this  tomb  exists  in  our  day,  and  is  still 
the  object  of  pious  pilgrimages  among  Mohammedans.  Latterly 
the  Hungarians  have  kept  it  in  repair  at  their  own  expense  in  order 
to  show  their  sympathy  for  Turkey. 

In  the  month  of  April,  1690,  Leopold  laid  claim  to  Bosnia  and 
Bulgaria  on  behalf  of  Hungary,  and  called  upon  the  Slavs  in  Tur- 



key  to  take  up  arms.  A  little  later  he  invited  the  Servian  patriarch 
of  Ypek  to  settle  in  his  dominions,  promising  the  Servians  the  free 
exercise  of  their  religion  and  a  separate  government.  In  1691  the 
patriarch  accepted  this  offer,  and  from  thirty-five  to  forty  thousand 
families  were  settled  on  the  banks  of  the  Maros,  in  Sirmia,  in 
Slavonia,  in  the  district  of  Backa,  and  even  in  the  outskirts  of  Buda ; 
and  these  colonists,  owing  to  their  special  privileges,  formed  a  dis- 
tinct nation.  The  soldiers  which  they  furnished  the  Austrians, 
like  those  Servians  who  had  settled  in  Hungary  before,  rendered 
great  services  to  the  Hapsburgs  in  the  wars  against  the  Turks.  The 
descendants  of  these  Servian  colonists  are  still  to  be  found  in  the 
south  of  Hungary,  where  their  influence  is  considerable. 

After  the  departure  of  Toekoeli  Transylvania  had  become  an 
Austrian  province,  and  during  the  campaigns  against  the  Turks 
the  Austrian  generals  had  garrisoned  most  of  its  towns.  The 
young  Prince  Michael  Apafy  had  been  taken  to  Vienna  to  be 
educated,  and  the  principality  was  governed  by  imperial  lieuten- 
ants. The  Treaty  of  Carlowitz  obtained  recognition  for  this  new 
state  of  things  from  the  whole  of  Europe,  and  the  same  year,  by 
a  special  charter,  Leopold  recognized  the  rights  and  privileges  of 
the  principality  and  granted  the  free  exercise  of  the  Protestant  and 
Orthodox  religions.  But  the  Transylvanian  nobility  did  not  accept 
at  once  this  annexation,  which,  while  uniting  the  province  to  the 
mother  country,  also  subjected  it  to  a  brutal  soldiery  and  an  op- 
pressive government. 

The  malcontents  found  a  leader  in  the  person  of  Francis 
Rakoczy  (1706-1711),  who  brought  to  their  cause  an  inheritance 
of  heroic  traditions  and  hereditary  hatreds.  His  mother  was  the 
daughter  of  that  Count  Zrinyi  who  had  perished  on  the  scaffold, 
and  the  widow  of  George  Rakoczy  and  of  Toekoeli;  his  father, 
George  Rakoczy,  had  taken  part  in  the  conspiracy  of  the  three 
counts,  but,  more  fortunate  than  they,  had  escaped  the  scaffold. 
At  the  age  of  twelve  Francis  Rakoczy  himself  had  been  taken  to 
Vienna  and  educated  in  the  Catholic  faith.  It  had  been  intended 
that  he  should  become  a  priest,  but  obtaining  permission  to  return 
to  Hungary  and  to  travel,  he  married,  while  still  quite  young,  a 
princess  of  Hesse-Rheinsfeld,  whose  heroic  courage  harmonized 
well  with  his  adventurous  temperament.  To  great  bodily  vigor 
Rakoczy  joined  rare  moral  energy  and  an  extraordinary  ambition. 
His  first  conspiracy  did  not  succeed,  and  he  was  seized  and  thrown 






into  the  prison  of  Neustadt,  whence  he  found  means  to  escape,  and 
took  refuge  in  Poland.  There,  although  the  emperor  had  con- 
fiscated his  property  and  put  a  price  on  his  head,  he  entered  into 
relations  with  the  French  embassy,  which  allowed  him  a  subsidy. 
In  1703  he  returned  to  Hungary. 

A  peasant  revolt  had  just  broken  out  in  the  neighborhood  of 
Munkacs,  and  the  irritation  was  great  throughout  the  kingdom,  for 
the  attempts  of  the  court  of  Vienna  to  destroy  Hungarian  liberty 
had  been  increasing.  Only  recently  the  emperor  had  called  before 
him  the  great  nobles  and  prelates,  to  whom  he  proposed  the  suppres- 
sion of  a  part  of  the  Hungarian  nobility,  that  petite  noblesse  which 
played  so  active  a  part  in  the  public  life  through  the  comitats.  On 
the  other  hand  a  great  number  of  families  were  indignant  at  the 
clauses  of  the  Treaty  of  Carlowitz  forbidding  the  return  to  the 
kingdom  of  those  Hungarians  who  had  emigrated  into  Turkey 
during  the  recent  revolts.  The  insurrection  of  1703  was  there- 
fore more  than  a  simple  movement  of  the  kurucz;  some  of  the 
representatives  of  the  greatest  families  and  even  Catholics  joined 
the  revolted  peasants.  By  the  beginning  of  1704  the  insurrection 
had  spread  over  Transylvania,  crossed  the  Vah,  and  even  made  some 
progress  in  the  neighborhood  of  Vienna.  At  this  moment  began 
the  War  of  the  Spanish  Succession ;  the  Bavarians,  allies  of  France, 
invaded  Austria,  while  Prince  Eugene  was  busy  fighting  the  armies 
of  Louis  XIV.  The  king  of  France  corresponded  with  Rakoczy, 
calling  him  "  my  cousin,"  and  sent  him  French  officers. 

In  spite  of  some  military  reverses,  Rakoczy  organized  a  gov- 
ernment, and  a  diet  named  him  chief  of  the  Hungarian  nation. 
A  second  diet  proclaimed  him  voievode  of  Transylvania,  and  the 
greater  part  of  the  kingdom  of  St.  Stephen  soon  came  under  his 
command,  though  he  would  gladly  have  come  to  terms  with  the 
emperor  on  condition  of  being  allowed  to  keep  only  Transylvania. 
But  the  exasperation  of  the  Hungarians  was  so  great  that  they 
had  resolved  to  break  once  for  all  with  the  Hapsburgs.  At  the 
diet  of  Onod  thirty-one  confederated  comitats — the  kingdom  then 
contained  fifty-two — proclaimed  Joseph  I.  no  longer  king  of  Hun- 
gary. They  dared  not  go  on  and  offer  the  crown  to  Rakoczy,  but 
at  the  suggestion  of  Louis  XIV.  offered  it  to  the  elector  of  Bavaria, 
who  refused  it,  and  precious  time  was  lost  in  negotiations.  In  the 
meantime  Heister,  the  imperial  general,  defeated  the  insurgents 
at  Trencsin,  in  1708,  and  retook  a  part  of  Hungary.     These  sue- 



cesses  were  followed  up  by  Stahrenberg  and  Sickingen.  Louis 
XIV.,  exhausted  by  defeats,  suspended  his  subsidies ;  Rakoczy,  find- 
ing himself  unable  to  continue  the  struggle,  left  the  country  and 
took  refuge  in  Poland.  The  diet  accepted  the  Treaty  of  Szathmar, 
which  stipulated  for  a  general  amnesty  and  the  reestablishment  of 
Hungarian  liberties.  Later  Rakoczy  went  to  Paris  and  visited  the 
court  of  France,  which  had  formerly  treated  him  as  a  sovereign. 
This  circumstance  has  done  much  to  popularize  his  name,  which 
one  sees  constantly  in  the  contemporary  documents  and  memoirs, 
especially  those  of  St.  Simon.  As  the  Austrian  government  finally 
became  disquieted  over  his  sojourn  in  Paris,  Rakoczy  went  to 
Turkey.  There,  in  conformity  with  the  Treaty  of  Passarowitz, 
the  Porte  assigned  him  as  a  residence  the  chateau  of  Rodosto,  near 
the  Sea  of  Marmora.  Even  in  this  retreat  he  did  not  entirely  re- 
nounce his  ambitions,  and  made  several  unsuccessful  attempts  to 
interest  France  and  Turkey  in  his  cause.  To  while  away  his  time 
he  wrote  his  "  Memoirs  on  the  Hungarian  Revolutions,"  which 
were  published  at  The  Hague  in  1732.  The  name  of  Rakoczy  has 
remained  attached  to  a  celebrated  march,  the  author  of  which  is 
unknown.  It  is  certain,  however,  that  it  was  often  played  in  his 
armies,  and  that  it  has  become  for  the  Magyars  a  national  hymn, 
the  Marseillaise  of  their  revolutions.  Whenever  Hungarian  lib- 
erty has  been  stifled  its  use  has  been  rigorously  forbidden  by  the 
Austrian  Government.  In  our  time  it  has  been  adapted  to  the 
orchestra  by  Berlioz. 

Hungary,  defeated,  was  definitely  reconciled  with  Austria  by 
the  Peace  of  Szathmar,  and  it  is  Joseph  I.  who  had  the  honor  of 
accomplishing  this  great  work.  After  having  been  proclaimed  in 
1707  unworthy  of  reigning  over  Hungary,  he  had  permanently 
established  his  dynasty  on  the  throne  by  his  death  in  171 1.  This 
prince,  who  died  at  the  age  of  thirty-three,  was  of  so  gentle  and 
tolerant  a  character  that  he  would  doubtless  have  won  the  lasting 
affections  of  his  reconciled  subjects  had  he  lived  longer.  His  suc- 
cessor, Charles  VI.,  who  was  Charles  III.  of  Hungary,  bound  the 
Magyar  nation  still  more  closely  to  the  dynasty.  After  his  corona- 
tion he  recognized  by  a  special  law  the  right  of  the  Hungarians  to 
elect  their  own  king  in  case  the  male  line  of  the  house  of  Austria 
should  become  extinct.  The  Pragmatic  Sanction  proves,  however, 
how  little  he  held  himself  bound  by  this  concession  to  Magyar 
pride.     The  first  years  of  his  reign  were  devoted  to  establishing 



order  in  the  country,  but  evil  traditions  were  not  abandoned;  the 
amnesty  was  limited  in  its  application,  and  religious  intolerance 
continued,  with  less  brutality  in  its  forms,  it  is  true,  but  with 
quite  as  much  obstinacy.  It  attacked  equally  the  Hungarian  Prot- 
estants and  the  new  Servian  colonists  of  the  Orthodox  faith.  But 
the  court  of  Vienna  was  not  alone  to  blame  for  these  persecutions ; 
the  greater  part  of  the  Magyar  Catholics  joined  in  them. 

The  reign  of  Charles  VI.  saw  the  final  expulsion  of  the  Otto- 
mans. In  1716  the  grand  vizier  of  Sultan  Achmet  III.  crossed  the 
Save  and  marched  on  the  town  of  Peterwardein.  There  Prince 
Eugene  awaited  him  and  won  the  victory  of  Peterwardein,  which 
resounded  throughout  Christendom.  The  Hungarians  fought 
gloriously  in  this  battle,  which  cost  the  grand  vizier  his  life  and 
restored  to  the  conquerors  the  town  of  Temesvar  and  the  last  pos- 
sessions of  the  Turks  in  Hungary.  The  next  year,  171 7,  the  re- 
doubtable fortress  of  Belgrade  was  also  taken,  and  with  its  fall  all 
danger  from  the  Turks  in  the  middle  Danube  came  to  an  end. 
The  loss  of  the  fortress  was  a  fatal  blow  to  their  power,  and  the 
sultan  consented  to  sign  the  Treaty  of  Passarowitz,  abandoning 
entirely  the  right  bank  of  the  Danube,  Belgrade,  and  a  part  of 
Servia  and  Wallachia.  These  conquests  delivered  into  the  hands 
of  Austria  the  keys  of  the  Ottoman  empire.  She  might  then,  by 
following  up  her  successes  in  this  direction,  have  given  liberty  and 
civilization  to  the  Servian  and  Rumanian  populations,  and  grad- 
ually annexed  them.  But  to  accomplish  this  the  Hapsburgs 
would  have  had  to  direct  their  undivided  energies  to  the  lower 
Danube.  They  chose  instead  to  make  acquisitions  on  the  more  dis- 
tant Rhine  in  Germany,  and  even  in  Italy.  Against  the  Turks  a 
weak  defensive  policy  was  followed,  which  had  most  unfortunate 
results  in  the  next  war. 

When  in  1737  war  with  Turkey  again  broke  out,  the  husband 
of  the  then  archduchess,  Maria  Theresa,  Prince  Francis  of  Lorraine, 
was  put  in  command  of  the  imperial  army.  He  was  severely  beaten 
in  an  attempt  to  invade  Bosnia  and  Wallachia,  and  forced  to  retire 
into  Transylvania.  In  May,  1738,  the  Turks  captured  Oesova, 
and  Belgrade,  the  only  place  left  the  Austrians  on  the  right  bank  of 
the  Save,  was  in  imminent  danger  of  being  captured.  Under 
these  circumstances  Charles  VI.,  though  in  alliance  with  Russia, 
agreed  to  the  Peace  of  Belgrade,  1739,  in  which  Belgrade  and  the 
whole  of  Servia  was  again  restored  to  the  Turks.     Austria's  unique 




Opportunity  in  the  Balkan  peninsula  was  lost.  In  the  negotiations 
for  peace  the  presence  of  France  as  a  factor  in  the  international 
relations  of  Turkey  was  conspicuously  felt.  Thenceforward  France, 
Russia,  and  later  England  were  all  too  deeply  interested  at  Con- 
stantinople ever  again  to  allow  Austria  a  free  hand  in  the  Balkan. 

The  internal  history  of  the  territory  reclaimed  for  Austria 
under  Charles  VI.'s  reign  was  far  from  happy.  Hungary  had  lost 
her  political  vitality,  and  the  diet  was  very  compliant.  It  voted  the 
Pragmatic  Sanction  on  the  promise  of  the  king  to  convoke  the  diet 
at  least  once  in  three  years,  to  reside  in  Hungary  whenever  circum- 
stances permitted,  to  arrange  the  business  of  the  country  in  person 
with  the  help  of  the  Council  of  Regency  presided  over  by  the  pala- 
tine, and  to  make  Fiume  a  free  port.  The  Servian  colonists,  who 
had  entered  Hungary,  were  reduced  to  the  condition  of  serfs,  and 
persecuted  for  their  Orthodoxy.  In  1734  the  Servian  and  Hun- 
garian peasants,  victims  of  persecution  and  oppression,  rose  in 
rebellion.  They  were  joined  by  some  Hungarian  Protestants  who 
were  likewise  suffering,  but  the  movement  was  suppressed  by  the 
army  and  cruelly  punished. 


THE    MONARCHY.    1740-1792 


Chapter    XX 

MARIA   THERESA.     1 740-1 780 

THE  Archduchess  Maria  Theresa,  heiress  of  Charles  VI., 
had  married  Francis  Stephen,  duke  of  Lorraine,  whose 
family  had  been  allied  to  that  of  Austria  by  marriage  since 
the  preceding  century.  At  the  close  of  the  War  of  the  Polish  Succes- 
sion, in  1735,  he  had  been  obliged  to  give  up  Lorraine  to  Stanislas 
Leszczynski,  and  had  obtained  in  exchange  the  grand  duchy  of 
Tuscany,  left  vacant  by  the  death  of  the  last  of  the  Medici.  Tus- 
cany was  not  annexed  to  the  dominions  of  the  reigning  house  of 
Austria,  but  became  an  inheritance  for  younger  sons,  and  at  the 
death  of  Francis  passed,  not  to  his  oldest  son,  Joseph  11. ,  but  to 
the  younger,  Leopold. 

Maria  Theresa  was  the  first  woman  who  had  ruled  over  all 
the  Austrian  states,  and  she  could  not,  like  her  predecessors,  succeed 
to  the  imperial  crown,  which  seemed  by  this  time  to  have  become 
hereditary  in  the  house  of  Austria.  As  queen  of  Bohemia,  how- 
ever, she  had  a  vote  in  the  electoral  college.  She  made  her  hus- 
band co-regent,  but  gave  him  only  a  slight  share  in  the  govern- 
ment; the  active  and  imperious  spirit  of  the  young  princess  would 
not  permit  a  partition  of  her  authority,  and  at  the  beginning  of 
her  reign  Francis  Stephen  was  no  more  than  the  husband  of  the 
queen.  Her  accession  seemed  a  favorable  opportunity  for  the 
enemies  of  Austria ;  no  one  believed  in  the  permanence  of  the  Aus- 
trian state,  as  it  had  been  created  by  Charles  VI.  with  the  help 
of  the  Pragmatic  Sanction,  and  nothing  seemed  easier  than  to  dis- 
member it.  The  French  Marshal  de  Belle-Isle  even  arranged  a 
plan  which  gave  the  Low  Countries  to  France,  Bohemia  and  the 
imperial  crown  to  Bavaria,  Silesia  to  Prussia,  and  Tuscany,  Parma, 
and  the  Lombard  possessions  to  Spain  and  Sardinia.  Only  one 
thing  embarrassed  the  marshal,  and  that  was  what  to  do  with 
Moravia.  Maria  Theresa  was  to  think  herself  lucky  to  keep  Hun- 
gary and  the  Austrian  provinces. 

It  seemed  as  if  no  state  could  be  more  easily  broken  up  than 



this  polyglot  empire,  which  had  no  other  tie  than  the  person  of 
the  sovereign  and  the  more  or  less  faithful  adhesion  of  the  diets 
to  the  Pragmatic  Sanction.  Besides,  a  new  power  had  arisen  in 
north  Gennany,  full  of  vigor  and  ambition,  which  now  for  the 
first  time  assumed  its  place  as  the  rival  of  Austria  among  the 
German  states.  Prussia,  erected  into  a  monarchy  early  in  the  cen- 
tury, now  had  for  its  sovereign  a  prince  as  enterprising  as  he  was 
unscrupulous,  Frederick  IL,  known  to  history  as  Frederick  the 
Great.  For  his  invasion  of  Silesia  he  claimed  rights  no  better 
founded  than  were  those  upon  which  the  dismemberment  of  Poland 
was  afterward  based.  Austria  protested  in  vain:  Frederick  had 
on  his  side  the  final  argument  of  kings,  and  the  occupation  of 
Breslau  and  victory  of  Molvitz  decided  the  cause  in  his  favor  in 
1 741.  He  had  at  his  command  an  army  in  admirable  condition, 
and  the  money  that  had  been  carefully  hoarded  by  his  predecessor, 
while  the  Austrian  treasury  was  empty  and  the  army  in  a  wretched 

The  success  of  the  Prussian  king  seemed  a  proof  of  the  weak- 
ness of  the  edifice  which  had  been  so  laboriously  raised  by  Charles 
VI.  The  young  queen  found  herself  surrounded  by  enemies  on 
every  side — Bavaria,  France,  Spain,  the  elector  palatine,  and  the 
elector  of  Cologne.  Charles  Albert,  duke  of  Bavaria,  married  to 
a  cousin  of  Maria  Theresa,  now  laid  claim  to  a  part  of  the  Austrian 
dominions  as  the  descendant  of  Anna,  daughter  of  Ferdinand  I., 
who  had  married  one  of  his  predecessors,  Albert  V.  The  will  of 
Ferdinand  I.  ran  thus :  "  In  case  our  sons  should  die  without  heirs 
male,  our  daughters  shall  have  a  right  to  a  part  of  the  inheritance." 
According  to  Charles  Albert,  as  soon  as  females  were  allowed  to 
succeed  the  oldest  daughter  of  Ferdinand  I.  and  her  descendants 
ought  to  take  precedence  of  all  later  heiresses.  He  also  claimed 
Austria  by  virtue  of  certain  rights  of  the  house  of  Bavaria  ante- 
dating the  year  11 56.  Augustus  III.,  elector  of  Saxony,  who  had 
married  the  oldest  daughter  of  Joseph  I.,  based  his  claim  partly 
on  that  of  his  wife  and  partly  on  a  distant  relationship  to  the  house 
of  Babenberg.  The  other  powers,  without  alleging  any  other  right 
than  that  of  the  strongest,  wished  simply  to  dismember  Austria  in 
order  to  aggrandize  themselves.  At  first  Maria  Theresa  tried  to 
negotiate;  she  offered  Louis  XV.  the  duchy  of  Luxemburg  if  he 
would  persuade  Spain  to  content  herself  with  the  Low  Countries, 
and  the  elector  of  Bavaria  with  a  part  of  Upper  Austria ;  but  these 



attempts  at  negotiation  failed,  and  it  was  necessary  to  have  re- 
course to  arms. 

An  alliance  was  concluded  between  France,  Spain,  Bavaria, 
and  later  Saxony  and  Prussia.  It  has  been  recently  shown  that  the 
Treaty  of  Nymphenburg  under  the  form  in  which  it  has  come  down 
to  us,  is  apocryphal.  But  it  is  an  incontestable  fact  that  France  put 
her  troops  at  the  disposal  of  the  elector  of  Bavaria.  Charles  Albert, 
with  the  help  of  the  French  army,  took  Linz  and  pushed  into  Bo- 
hemia, while  Frederick  occupied  Silesia  and  the  Spaniards  attacked 
Italy.  The  support  of  the  Hungarians  and  the  subsidies  of  Eng- 
land were  all  that  saved  Maria  Theresa  in  this  crisis.  After  an 
interregnum  of  two  years  the  elector  of  Bavaria  was  chosen  emperor 
of  Germany,  and  it  seemed  that  the  house  of  Hapsburg-Lorraine 
had  lost  the  imperial  crown.  England  paralyzed  the  efforts  of 
Spain  in  Italy,  and  forced  Frederick  II.  to  sign  the  preliminaries 
of  Breslau  and  the  Peace  of  Berlin.  Maria  Theresa  ceded  to  her 
fortunate  rival  upper  and  lower  Silesia,  the  Bohemian  county  of 
Glatz,  the  lordship  of  Kostcher  in  Moravia — in  all  more  than  650 
square  miles.  She  kept  of  Silesia  only  the  principality  of  Teschen 
and  some  parts  of  those  of  Troppau  Jagerndorf,  and  Neisse.  This 
was  a  considerable  loss;  Silesia,  conquered  by  Frederick  11. ,  not 
only  brought  Prussia  to  the  frontiers  of  Bohemia,  but  deprived 
Austria  of  a  million  of  her  German  population,  thus  still  further 
increasing  the  proportion  of  the  Slav  and  Magyar  elements.  Be- 
sides being  German,  the  population  was  almost  entirely  Protestant, 
and  therefore  but  little  regretted  the  Austrian  rule. 

Saxony,  which  had  hoped  to  annex  Silesia  and  a  part  of  Mo- 
ravia, now  left  the  league  and  concluded  a  treaty  of  alliance  with 
Maria  Theresa,  in  1743.  For  a  moment  the  fortune  of  war  seemed 
to  turn  to  the  side  of  Austria.  The  French  were  obliged  to  evac- 
uate Bohemia  and  the  Austrian  troops  entered  and  occupied 
Bavaria,  forcing  the  new  emperor  to  retire.  He  had  had  himself 
crowned  at  Prague.  In  her  turn  the  queen  of  Bohemia  and  Hun- 
gary now  received  the  homage  of  Bavaria,  and  established  a  royal 
lieutenancy  at  Munich.  France  and  Bavaria  proposed  peace, 
but  it  was  refused.  France  therefore  attacked  Austria  in  the  Low 
Countries,  while  Frederick  II.  took  up  arms  again  in  July,  1744, 
entered  Bohemia,  and  defeated  the  Austrians  and  Saxons  in  several 

In  the  meantime  Charles  VII.  returned  to  Bavaria,  though 



only  to  die.  His  son  signed  the  Treaty  of  Fiissen  and  recognized 
the  Pragmatic  Sanction.  Francis  of  Lorraine,  husband  of  Maria 
Theresa,  was  then  chosen  emperor,  and  the  imperial  dignity  re- 
turned to  the  house  of  Austria.  Finally  the  mediation  of  England 
brought  about  the  peace  of  Dresden  between  Prussia,  Austria, 
and  Saxony,  in  which  Prussia  recognized  the  imperial  dignity  of 
Francis  I.,  and  the  states  of  Prussia  and  Austria  mutually  guar- 
anteed one  another's  possessions.  We  shall  not  follow  here  the 
events  of  this  war  in  the  Low  Countries  and  in  Italy.  Notwith- 
standing the  support  of  England,  and  even  of  Russia,  which  sent 
some  troops  as  far  as  the  Rhine,  the  armies  of  Maria  Theresa  were 
generally  defeated.  The  Treaty  of  Aix-la-Chapelle,  in  1748,  ter- 
minated this  series  of  campaigns  more  advantageously  than  the 
empress-queen  had  had  a  right  to  hope.  She  ceded  to  Sardinia 
upper  Novara  and  Vigevano,  and  to  Don  Philip  of  Spain,  Parma, 
Piacenza,  and  Guastalla.  Except  for  the  loss  of  Silesia,  however, 
the  Austrian  states  remained  intact. 

The  acquisition  of  Silesia  had  given  Frederick  II.  a  strong 
position  on  the  very  frontier  of  Bohemia.  Russia  had  begun  to 
take  a  share  in  the  affairs  of  Europe,  and  her  alliance  was  in  future 
to  have  great  weight  in  the  disputes  that  occurred  between  Vienna 
and  Berlin.  From  the  year  1746  a  treaty  of  defensive  alliance  had 
existed  between  Austria  and  Russia,  by  which  each  power  under- 
took to  famish  an  army  of  60,000  men  in  case  Frederick  should 
attack  Poland,  Austria,  or  Russia. 

But  Austria  could  not  be  sure  of  keeping  her  Spanish  or  Italian 
possessions  so  long  as  France  was  her  enemy.  In  1753  Maria 
Theresa  summoned  to  her  counsels  a  remarkable  man,  the  Count 
Kaunitz,  who  succeeded  in  putting  an  end  to  the  long-standing 
rivalry  between  the  houses  of  Bourbon  and  Hapsburg,  and  brought 
about  a  definite  understanding  between  the  courts  of  Vienna  and 
Versailles.  Kaunitz,  a  member  of  an  old  family  of  Bohemia,  was 
bom  at  Vienna  in  171 1.  He  had  at  first  been  destined  for  the 
church,  but  the  death  of  his  older  brother  had  thrown  him  back 
into  the  world.  He  had  studied  at  the  universities  of  Vienna,  Leip- 
zig, and  Leyden,  and  had  traveled  in  Holland,  England,  France, 
and  Italy.  He  had  married  a  Stahrenberg,  a  descendant  of  the 
leader  who  had  defended  Vienna,  and  had  entered  the  public  serv- 
ice while  still  very  young.  Under  Charles  VI.  he  had  been  a 
member  of  the   imperial   council;   and   on   her  accession   Maria 



Theresa  had  intrusted  to  him  several  diplomatic  missions,  sending 
him  first  to  Italy,  then  to  Brussels,  and  at  last  to  England,  where 
he  showed  himself  possessed  of  rare  qualities.  He  represented 
Austria  at  Aix-la-Chapelle,  and  was,  from  1751  to  1753,  Austrian 
ambassador  in  Paris.  Upon  his  return  to  Vienna  he  pointed  out 
very  forcibly  to  his  sovereign  the  necessity  of  a  French  alliance. 
France,  who  could  throw  her  troops  at  once  upon  Belgium,  the 
Rhine,  and  Italy,  was,  he  argued,  far  the  most  dangerous  enemy 
of  Austria,  and  her  alliance  should  be  secured,  if  possible.  In  spite 
of  the  opposition  of  the  emperor  and  the  majority  of  the  council, 
an  alliance  with  France  was  determined  upon.  Kaunitz  was 
appointed  chancellor  and  placed  at  the  head  of  foreign  affairs,  and 
from  this  time  all  his  efforts  were  directed  toward  a  reconciliation 
between  the  two  countries  whose  rivalries  had  for  centuries  domi- 
nated the  alliances  of  Europe.  Unfortunately  England  and  France 
were  at  this  time  in  the  midst  of  a  colonial  dispute,  and  Austria 
could  scarcely  expect  to  retain  the  support  of  England  and  be  at 
the  same  time  in  alliance  with  France.  Kaunitz  at  first  tried  to 
remain  neutral,  but  he  soon  decided  that  an  alliance  with  France 
would  be  far  more  useful  against  Frederick  II.  Besides,  fearful 
of  the  security  of  Hanover,  England  had  made  overtures  to  him. 
After  much  diplomatic  maneuvering,  Kaunitz  finally  succeeded  in 
procuring  the  French  alliance,  the  conditions  of  which  were  ex- 
pressed in  two  treaties  at  Versailles.  The  second  of  these,  known 
as  the  Second  Treaty  of  Versailles,  was  signed  in  May,  1757.  It 
constitutes  one  of  the  most  remarkable  agreements  ever  made  be- 
tween two  great  powers,  and  is  in  every  way  a  signal  triumph  to 
the  Austrian  queen  and  her  able  minister.  France  pledged  herself 
to  support  Austria  with  a  large  army  of  105,000  men,  and  an  an- 
nual subsidy  of  twelve  millions  of  florins  so  long  as  the  war  should 
last,  and  all  she  stipulated  to  receive  in  return  was  a  portion  of 
the  Netherlands.  The  war  was  to  continue  till  Prussia  was  dis- 
membered, and  Austria  had  reconquered  Silesia  and  her  former 
Italian  possessions.  Russia  had  already  entered  the  alliance,  and  the 
Treaty  of  Versailles  therefore  marks  the  complete  abandonment  of 
the  traditional  grouping  of  the  powers,  so  that  it  has  quite  appro- 
priately been  called  the  Diplomatic  Revolution. 

It  has  been  said  that  Maria  Theresa,  in  her  anxiety  to  gain 
the  friendship  of  Louis  XV.,  entered  into  direct  relations  with 
Madame  de  Pompadour^  and  wrote  her  a  letter  styling  her  "  dear 



friend  and  fair  cousin."  The  proud  princess  never  used  such  lan- 
guage. "You  are  mistaken,"  she  wrote,  October  lo,  1763,  to  the 
electress  of  Saxony,  "  if  you  beheve  that  we  have  ever  had  any- 
thing to  do  with  the  Pompadour.  Not  a  letter  has  been  written, 
not  an  interview  has  been  granted  our  minister  through  means  of 
her ;  they  have  paid  court  to  her,  like  all  the  rest,  but  there  has  been 
no  intimacy.  Such  a  go-between  would  not  suit  me."  On  the 
other  hand,  she  was  intensely  eager  for  the  success  of  the 

Frederick  II.,  apprised  of  the  coalition  against  him,  without 
delay  invaded  Saxony,  seized  Dresden,  and  then  pushed  into 
Bohemia,  advancing  as  far  as  Prague,  May,  1757.  But  there  the 
defeat  of  Kolin  compelled  him  to  withdraw  from  this  kingdom. 
He  had  at  last  found  in  Marshal  Daun  a  worthy  adversary. 
Pressed  on  the  west  by  the  French,  on  the  east  by  the  Russians, 
who  had  just  occupied  eastern  Prussia,  and  on  the  south  by  the 
Austrians,  who  had  reentered  Silesia,  Frederick's  affairs  seemed 
desperate.  But  the  brilliant  victory  over  the  French  and  imperial- 
ists at  Rossbach  relieved  him  from  the  most  imminent  danger, 
and  rushing  from  Rossbach  back  to  Silesia  he  inflicted  a  terrible 
defeat  on  the  Austrians  at  Leuthen,  in  December,  1757.  The  de- 
tails of  the  war  furnish  a  series  of  victories  and  defeats  for  Fred- 
erick in  which,  like  a  lion  at  bay,  he  rushes  from  one  antagonist  to 
another,  though  gradually  weakening  under  the  strain  of  contend- 
ing against  such  overwhelming  odds.  In  1760  he  was  still  holding 
his  enemies  at  bay.  In  1762  Peter  III.  withdrew  from  the  Austrian 
alliance,  France  entered  into  negotiations  with  England,  and  Maria 
Theresa,  fearful  of  being  left  alone  to  fight  her  formidable  antag- 
onist, agreed  to  the  Peace  of  Hubertsburg,  in  1763.  Austria 
acquiesced  in  the  retention  of  Silesia  by  Frederick  II.,  and  he  in 
turn  promised  his  electoral  vote  in  the  approaching  imperial  election 
to  the  Archduke  Joseph. 

The  Seven  Years'  War  was  an  excellent  school  for  the  Aus- 
trian army,  which  improved  greatly  during  its  progress.  Among 
the  generals  whose  bravery  and  talent  appeared  most  conspicuously 
were  Joseph  Daun,  who  organized  the  School  of  Cadets  at  Vienna 
and  who  recalled  the  severe  methods  of  Montecuculli ;  the  Livonian 
Loudon,  who  after  having  offered  his  sword  in  vain  to  the  king 
of  Prussia,  won  in  the  Austrian  service  a  glorious  name  that  is 
not  yet  forgotten ;  and  the  two  Irishmen,  Brown  and  Lacy.     The 

H     — 
<     *^ 

=      E 



victories  of  Kolin  and  of  Hochkirch,  of  Kunersdorf  and  of  Maxen, 
showed  that  Austria  was  to  be  counted  from  that  time  among  the 
military  states  of  Europe.  Thereafter  the  great  powers  were  anx- 
ious for  her  alliance. 

A  short  time  before  the  Treaty  of  Hubertsburg  the  Emperor 
Francis  I.  had  died.  By  his  marriage  with  Maria  Theresa  he  had 
no  less  than  sixteen  children,  and  through  their  marriages  the 
house  of  Austria  became  allied  with  many  of  the  reigning  families 
of  Europe.  The  Princess  Maria  Christina  married  Albert  of  Sax- 
ony; Marie  Amelia,  Duke  Ferdinand  of  Parma;  Maria  Caroline, 
Ferdinand,  king  of  the  Two  Sicilies ;  and  the  Archduke  Ferdinand, 
the  hereditary  princess  of  Modena.  These  unions  still  further  in- 
creased the  interest  that  the  house  of  Austria  had  always  had  in 
the  affairs  of  Italy.  Then  the  marriage  of  Maria  Antonia  (Marie 
Antoinette)  with  the  dauphin  of  France  in  1770  seemed  as  if  it 
would  make  permanent  the  alliance  which  Kaunitz  had  succeeded 
in  bringing  about  between  the  houses  of  Bourbon  and  Hapsburg- 
Lorraine.  The  correspondence  of  Maria  Theresa  with  the  dauph- 
iness  and  with  De  Mercy,  Austrian  ambassador  at  the  court 
of  France,  has  been  preserved.  It  shows  what  an  interest  the 
empress  attached  to  the  maintenance  of  the  most  cordial  relations 
between  the  two  countries,  and  reflects  great  honor  to  the  char- 
acter of  Maria  Theresa,  whether  considered  as  a  sovereign  or  as 
the  mother  of  a  family. 

After  the  death  of  Francis  L,  his  son,  Joseph  II.,  was  elected 
emperor,  in  1765.  His  mother  associated  him  with  her  in  the 
government  and  confided  the  direction  of  the  army  to  him,  but 
he  played  no  more  active  a  role  in  the  actual  government  of  the 
country  than  did  his  father. 

The  empress-queen,  in  spite  of  the  reverses  that  Frederick 
II.  had  inflicted  on  her,  had  reason  to  be  proud  of  the  prosperity 
of  her  states  and  the  splendor  of  her  house.  An  opportunity  which 
the  government  at  Vienna  did  not  allow  to  escape  soon  presented 
itself  for  repairing,  by  a  new  acquisition,  the  loss  of  Silesia. 
Poland  had  for  many  years  been  falling  more  and  more  into  a 
state  of  anarchy.  The  deplorable  system  of  electing  sovereigns, 
practiced  by  a  tumultuous  and  anarchical  nobility,  could  not  but 
bring  the  country  under  foreign  domination.  The  liberum  veto, 
or  the  right  of  the  individual  noble  to  veto  laws,  made  legislation 
impossible  and  practically  legalized  anarchy.     For  years,  therefore. 



Strong  government  was  entirely  wanting  in  Poland.  Society  con- 
sisted of  the  nobles,  most  of  whom  were  sadly  impoverished,  and 
their  serfs;  there  was  no  middle  class.  To  ambitious  neighbors 
pretexts  for  intervening  were  not  wanting.  Undoubtedly  Maria 
Theresa  would  not  of  herself  have  planned  the  dismemberment 
of  Poland,  but  when  Russia  and  Prussia  were  preparing  to  claim 
or  conquer  at  least  part  of  the  kingdom  by  virtue  of  real  or  imag- 
inary rights,  the  empress  was  easily  persuaded  to  yield  to  reasons 
of  state. 

The  first  idea  of  the  partition  should  certainly  be  attributed 
to  Frederick  II.  In  1772,  on  the  occasion  of  the  success  of  the 
Russians  over  the  Turks,  a  success  which  had  called  for  the  media- 
tion of  Austria,  he  proposed  to  offer  Russia  compensation  in  Po- 
land. Catherine  II.  was  easily  won  over  to  this  plan,  and  Joseph 
II.,  after  two  interviews  with  the  king  of  Prussia,  in  which  it  was 
agreed  that  Austria  should  share  in  the  partition,  was  also  won 
over.  But  Maria  Theresa  was  at  first  troubled  by  these  proposi- 
tions, so  repugnant  to  her  devout  and  loyal  spirit.  To  her  min- 
ister at  Berlin  she  wrote :  "  I  admit  that  it  is  hard  for  me  to  decide 
upon  a  thing  of  which  I  am  reassured  neither  as  to  its  justice  nor  its 
utility,  and  which  I  do  not  even  find  useful.  What  right  has 
one  to  despoil  an  innocent  nation  that  has  always  before  been  so 
gladly  defended  and  helped?  Why  are  there  so  many  great  and 
costly  preparations  and  so  many  noisy  threats  regarding  the  equi- 
librium of  the  north?  The  most  plausible  reason,  that  of  not  re- 
maining alone  among  the  other  powers,  and  so  deriving  no  advan- 
tage from  the  situation,  does  not  seem  to  me  to  suffice,  nor  even 
to  be  an  honorable  pretext,  for  joining  two  unjust  usurpers  in 
order  to  ruin,  without  just  cause,  a  third.  I  do  not  understand 
the  politics  that  permit,  in  case  two  make  use  of  their  superiority 
to  oppress  an  innocent  one,  that  a  third  may  and  should,  simply  as 
a  precaution  for  the  future  and  a  convenience  for  the  present,  imi- 
tate them  and  commit  the  same  injustice,  one  that  seems  to  me 
insufferable.  What  will  France,  Spain,  and  England  say  if  we 
suddenly  ally  ourselves  with  those  whom  we  have  so  much  wished 
to  restrain,  and  whose  proceedings  we  have  declared  unjust?  That 
would  be  giving  the  lie  to  all  that  has  been  done  during  thirty 
years  of  my  reign.  Let  us  endeavor  rather  to  diminish  their  pre- 
tensions than  to  think  of  sharing  with  them  under  conditions  so  un- 
equal.   Let  us  pass  for  feeble  rather  than  dishonest." 



Again  Maria  Theresa  seeks  to  explain  the  reasons  that  have 
forced  her  to  agree  to  the  partition :  "  The  interest  of  our  own 
safety  and  that  of  all  Europe,"  she  writes,  "  demand  that  we  take, 
though  to  my  regret,  the  part  of  seeking  to  counterbalance  the  in- 
crease of  power  that  Russia  and  Prussia  are  obtaining,  by  reserv- 
ing for  ourselves  that  part  of  the  land  in  dispute  to  which  we  have 
incontestable  rights."  By  these  last  words  it  can  be  seen  that  state 
policies  have  crowded  out  the  Christian  scruples  of  the  queen. 

The  treaty  of  partition  was  signed  July  25,  1772.  It  has 
been  said  that  Maria  Theresa  wrote  with  her  own  hands  the 
following  words  below  the  report  deciding  on  the  adoption  of  the 
treaty :  "  Placet,  since  so  many  clever  and  learned  men  wish  it  so, 
but  long  after  my  death  will  be  seen  the  results  of  having  so  de- 
spised all  that  which  hitherto  has  been  counted  holy  and  just." 
These  words,  of  which  the  original  has  not  been  found,  appear 
to  be  apocryphal.  The  real  sentiments  of  the  empress  after  the 
partition  are  found  in  the  texts  quoted  above  and  in  a  letter  to 
Mercy,  the  Austrian  ambassador  at  the  court  of  France.  Maria 
Theresa  regrets  at  the  same  time  being  associated  in  the  affair  and 
having  profited  too  little.  "  They  have  indeed  led  us  by  the  nose," 
she  writes  regarding  her  accomplices,  "  and  I  am  inconsolable.  If 
I  could  indeed  console  myself  it  would  be  with  the  fact  that  I  was 
always  opposed  to  this  iniquitous  partition,  so  unequal,  and  to  an 
alliance  with  these  two  monsters.  ...  I  have  yielded,  not 
wishing  to  make  war,  but  quite  contrary  to  my  convictions.  I 
hope  that  the  monarchy  may  not  feel  the  effects  of  this  after  my 

On  the  other  hand  she  wrote  to  Kaunitz :  "  When  all  my 
possessions  were  menaced  I  had  confidence  in  my  right  and  in  the 
assistance  of  God.  But  in  this  affair,  where  not  only  the  right 
cries  to  Heaven  against  us,  but  where  all  equity  and  good  sense  are 
also  against  us,  I  realize  that  nothing  else  in  all  my  life  has  caused 
me  so  much  anguish.  What  an  example  we  are  giving  the  world 
in  prostituting  our  honor  and  our  reputation  for  a  piece  of  Poland 
or  of  Moldavia  and  Wallachia.  I  see  well  that  I  am  alone 
and  no  longer  vigorous;  that  is  why  I  allow  things  to  go  their 
way,  but  not  without  the  greatest  chagrin."  Frederick  IL,  with 
his  habitual  cynicism,  spoke  of  the  pangs  of  Maria  Theresa 
in  quite  a  different  tone.  "  She  is  always  weeping  and  always 
taking."     She   herself   has   characterized   the   situation   by   these 



words,  which  have  at  least  the  merit  of  sincerity :  "  We  wish  to 
share  with  Prussia  and  we  wish  at  the  same  time  to  appear  honest." 

The  presentiments  of  Maria  Theresa  have  been  in  part  real- 
ized. The  possession  of  Galicia  has  caused  many  embarrassments 
to  the  Austrian  Government;  and  yet  through  an  unlooked-for 
change,  the  Poles  have  become  to-day  the  most  loyal  subjects  of  the 
Emperor  Francis  Joseph. 

The  partition  once  resolved  upon,  it  was  necessary  to  find  a 
plausible  pretext  for  carrying  it  out.  The  queen  of  Hungary  and 
Bohemia  invoked  certain  rights,  fictitious  or  real,  that  the  two  king- 
doms might  have  over  the  territory  of  Poland.  At  first,  in  1770, 
claim  was  made  to  the  thirteen  towns  of  the  county  of  Zips,  which 
had  been  pledged  in  14 12  to  Vladislav,  king  of  Poland,  and  which 
had  rem.ained  in  pledge  359  years.  Definite  possession  of  these  was 
taken  November  5,  1772,  in  the  name  of  the  queen  of  Hungary,  to 
whom  the  annexed  villages  owed  homage. 

In  September,  1772,  Austria  presented  new  claims.  "  Russia 
and  Prussia  having  resolved  to  make  good  their  ancient  pretensions 
to  certain  districts  of  the  kingdom  of  Poland,"  the  empress-queen 
had  new  territories  occupied.  A  special  manifesto  explained  the 
rights  of  Hungary  to  Little  Russia  and  Podolia,  and  those  of 
Bohemia  to  the  duchies  of  Ausschwitz  and  Zator.  So  Austria  ac- 
quired Red  Russia,  a  part  of  Podolia,  and  the  palatinates  of 
Sandomir  and  Cracow,  with  the  rich  salt  mines  of  Wieliczka  and 
Bochnia,  the  whole  comprising  an  extent  of  1500  square  miles  and 
2,5oo,0(X>  inhabitants. 

The  new  possessions  received  the  official  title  of  the  kingdom 
of  Galicia  and  Lodomeria.  The  title  of  king  of  Galicia  and  Lodo- 
meria  had  already  been  borne  by  the  kings  of  Hungary.  Mean- 
while Maria  Theresa,  in  spite  of  her  honest  intentions,  was  careful 
not  to  attach  these  reannexed  countries  to  Hungary  or  to  Bohemia, 
whose  independent  spirit  she  feared,  but  made  of  them  an  imme- 
diate possession  of  the  crown.  The  capital  of  the  new  kingdom 
was  established  at  the  town  of  Lemberg.  In  the  course  of  the 
year  1773  a  royal  rescript  organized  the  administration  of  the 
country,  and  in  December  the  estates,  the  clergy,  the  nobility,  and 
the  bourgeoisie  took  the  oath  to  the  Austrian  dynasty.  The  ad- 
ministration was  confided  to  German  officials.  In  1775  the  coun- 
try was  divided  into  eighteen  circles;  in  each  of  the  chief  places 
of  these  was  established  a  normal  school  for  the  propagation  of  the 

MARIA     THERESA  j849 


German  language,  which  was  that  of  the  administration,  though 
Latin  remained  everywhere  that  of  the  courts.  The  organization 
of  the  estates  was  based  on  that  of  the  kingdoms  of  Bohemia  and 
Hungary.  Joseph  H.,  who  had  taken  much  more  interest  in  the 
dismemberment  of  Poland  than  had  his  mother,  and  who  certainly 
had  not  had  the  same  scruples,  visited  the  new  provinces  in  1778, 
without  doubt  in  order  to  study  the  results  of  the  Germanizing 
system  which  he  was  intending  to  apply  to  his  other  states. 

Another  acquisition,  less  important  than  that  of  Galicia,  was 
that  of  Bukovina,  as  a  result  of  the  war  between  Russia  and  Tur- 
key. Austria  and  Turkey  had  been  at  peace  since  the  Treaty  of 
Belgrade,  but  when  Russia  seized  the  Crimea  and  was  approaching 
the  Danube,  Maria  Theresa  became  disquieted,  assembled  an  army 
in  Hungary,  and  insisted  as  early  as  1772  on  imposing  her  media- 
tion. In  1774  the  Porte  made  peace  with  Russia  in  the  important 
treaty  of  Kutchuk  Kainardji.  Austria  took  advantage  of  these 
circumstances  to  occupy  certain  parts  of  Moldavia.  The  reasons 
given  to  the  Porte  to  justify  this  sudden  occupation  were  no  better 
than  those  by  which  the  partition  of  Poland  was  authorized;  the 
invaded  territories  were  necessary  to  Austria  for  communication 
between  Galicia  and  Transylvania  in  order  to  prevent  the  deser- 
tions of  soldiers,  and,  after  all,  a  part  of  Moldavia  had  once  be- 
longed to  Podolia,  now  an  Austrian  possession.  Turkey  protested, 
while  Russia  and  Prussia  demanded  explanations.  But  Turkey, 
without  allies,  had  to  yield,  and  in  1775  the  treaty  of  cession  was 
concluded.  The  ceded  territory  comprised  about  189  square  miles, 
4  market  towns,  and  about  60  villages;  but  it  was  very  important 
from  the  strategic  point  of  view.  The  hospodar  of  Moldavia, 
Ghika,  whose  principality  was  dismembered  by  this  cession,  at- 
tempted to  prevent  the  inhabitants  from  swearing  fealty,  and  was 
seized  and  beheaded  by  order  of  the  sultan.  The  Rumanians,  how- 
ever, still  venerate  his  name  as  that  of  a  martyr  to  independence. 
The  population  of  Bukovina  is  composed  for  the  most  part  of 
Little  Russians  and  Rumanians.  In  1875  the  Austrian  Govern- 
ment celebrated  the  centennial  of  the  annexation  by  founding  a 
German  university  at  Czernowitz,  by  which  it  was  expected  to 
hasten  the  Germanizing  of  the  country. 

Thus  Maria  Theresa  and  her  son  practiced  in  their  turn  the 
rounding  out  of  territories  that  Frederick  II.  had  set  the  fashion 
for  by  the  conquest  of  Silesia.     Joseph  II.  had  in  these  matters 




the  same  principles  as  the  king  of  Prussia.  In  1779  the  elector  of 
Bavaria,  Maximilian  Joseph,  the  last  of  the  Wittelsbachs,  died. 
Joseph  II.  put  forward  a  claim  to  the  electorate  and  determined  to 
sustain  it,  if  need  be,  by  force  of  arms.  The  legitimate  heir,  the 
elector  palatine,  Charles  Theodore,  was  so  frightened  by  the  threats 
of  Austria  that  he  consented  to  a  treaty  which  left  him  scarcely 
half  of  Bavaria. 

But  Frederick  II.,  who  dreaded  any  aggrandizement  of  Aus- 
tria, took  up  arms  and  entered  Bohemia.  This  war,  feebly  carried 
on,  had  no  especial  military  importance.  The  Austrians  called  it 
"  the  skirmish  of  plums  " ;  the  Germans,  "  the  war  of  potatoes  " ; 
while  old  Loudon,  accustomed  to  heroic  struggles,  growled  about 
this  "beast  of  a  political  war."  The  mediation  of  France  and 
Russia  led  to  the  Peace  of  Teschen,  in  1779,  by  which  Maria 
Theresa  kept  only  a  small  part  of  Bavaria,  the  district  of  the  Inn. 
The  Treaty  of  Teschen  was  the  last  diplomatic  act  of  the  reign  of 
Maria  Theresa.  She  died  a  short  time  afterward,  in  1780,  leaving 
the  Austrian  state  larger  and  stronger  than  at  her  accession. 

Chapter    XXI 

MARIA   THERESA.     1 740-1 780 

IN  the  reign  of  Maria  Theresa  Bohemia,  already  so  cruelly 
tried,  became  once  more  the  battlefield  of  the  jealous  leagues 
against  the  house  of  Hapsburg.  In  1741  the  elector  of  Ba- 
varia pushed  forward  as  far  as  Prague  and  summoned  the  estates. 
About  four  hundred  nobles  and  knights  whose  lands  were  occupied 
by  his  troops  appeared  and  took  the  oath  of  allegiance  to  him  in  the 
cathedral  of  St.  Vit.  The  Czechs  had  little  reason  to  be  attached 
to  the  Hapsburg  dynasty,  and  the  change  of  masters  was  a  matter 
of  small  consequence  to  them.  Only  the  great  functionaries  quitted 
the  capital  and  remained  loyal  to  the  queen.  Charles  of  Bavaria 
instituted  a  provisional  government,  established  a  chancery  for  Bo- 
hemia at  Munich,  and  convoked  a  diet  in  order  to  obtain  supplies 
for  the  prosecution  of  the  war.  After  this  he  returned  to  Germany 
and  ceded  the  county  of  Glatz  to  Frederick,  a  cession  which  Maria 
Theresa  was  obliged  to  ratify.  Later  Bohemia  was  invaded  by  the 
French  under  Marshal  Belle-Isle,  and  Prague  occupied  by  them. 
Not  till  April,  1743,  did  Maria  Theresa  enter  Prague  and  receive 
the  crown  from  the  archbishop  of  Olmiitz.  In  order  to  prevent  the 
crown  of  Bohemia  from  resting  in  the  future  on  the  head  of  a 
stranger,  and  in  order  to  efface  its  historic  traditions  as  much  as 
possible,  it  was  carried  to  Vienna. 

In  the  cession  of  Silesia  the  kingdom  of  St.  Vacslav  lost  one- 
third  of  its  territory.  But  Bohemia  still  had  other  sacrifices  to 
make.  The  diet  gave  up  all  control  exercised  by  it  over  the  ad- 
ministration and  the  maintenance  of  the  army ;  agreed  that  appeals 
could  be  carried  to  Vienna ;  that  the  chancery  of  Bohemia  should  be 
absorbed  in  the  high  chancery  of  the  court,  and  that  the  criminal  law 
of  Bohemia  should  be  made  uniform  with  that  of  the  rest  of  the 
Austrian  dominions.  An  archbishopric  of  Olmiitz  was  created, 
and  Moravia  was  by  this  means  removed  from  the  spiritual  jurisdic- 
tion of  Prague.     The  German  language  was  introduced  into  all 




schools  and  offices  as  the  sole  official  language  of  administration 
and  instruction.  These  were  hard  blows  to  the  Czech  nationality. 
On  the  other  hand,  Maria  Theresa  gained  some  popularity  in  Bo- 
hemia by  her  edict  of  1773  concerning  forced  labor.  The  peasants 
did  not  at  first  understand  it ;  they  imagined  that  the  queen  had  freed 
them  from  all  dues,  and  that  her  agents  hid  the  truth  from  them. 
They  marched  in  bands  upon  Prague  to  see  the  royal  documents,  and 
burned  and  pillaged  the  castles  as  they  went.  It  took  a  large  army 
to  reduce  them,  and  General  Wallis  had  great  difficulty  in  protect- 
ing the  capital.  After  the  loss  of  Silesia,  Maria  Theresa  had  two 
fortresses  built — that  of  Theresienstadt  and  that  of  Josephstadt — 
to  protect  the  country  from  invasions.  A  census  taken  in  the  reign 
of  Maria  Theresa  gave  the  number  of  males  in  the  kingdom  as 
i,2oo,cxx),  implying  a  population  of  about  2,5oo,ocx),  while  imme- 
diately after  the  Thirty  Years'  War  it  had  been  only  800,000. 

"  It  has  been  seen  how  the  house  of  Austria  never  ceased  to 
oppress  the  Hungarian  nobles.  They  knew  not  how  valuable  they 
would  one  day  be  to  it.  It  sought  among  that  people  money  which 
it  had  not,  and  did  not  see  the  men  which  it  had.  When  a  throng 
of  princes  divided  its  territories  among  themselves,  when  the  va- 
rious parts  of  the  monarchy  became  motionless  and  inert,  so  to 
speak,  the  only  life  left  was  among  that  nobility,  which,  becoming 
indigfnant,  forgot  all  in  order  to  fight,  and  believed  that  it  found 
its  greatest  glory  in  pardoning  and  dying  for  those  who  had  in- 
jured it."  These  words  of  Montesquieu  express  with  that  author's 
habitual  brevity  the  feeling  of  admiration  aroused  throughout 
Eui'ope  by  the  devotion  of  the  Hungarians  to  Maria  Theresa. 
Those  who  do  not  know  the  Magyar  temperament  can  see  in  this 
devotion  only  the  expression  of  chivalrous  feeling,  but  the  Mag- 
yars are  legists  as  well  as  knights.  Nevertheless  the  legendary  and 
picturesque  episode  with  which  are  associated  the  famous  words 
"  Moriamur  pro  rege  nostra  Maria  Theresa  "  require  explanation 
in  some  detail. 

Charles  VI.  had  not  contented  himself  with  the  recognition 
of  his  daughter  as  his  heir  by  the  kingdom  of  Hungary ;  he  had  also 
wished  that  his  son-in-law,  Francis  of  Lorraine,  should  enter  into 
closer  relations  with  the  Magyar  nation,  and  for  this  reason  he 
had,  in  1732,  bestowed  the  title  of  royal  lieutenant  upon  him. 
Now  the  Hungarians  were  exceedingly  jealous  lest  they  should  be 
confounded  with  the  hereditary  states.     On  the  death  of  Charles 


(Born    1717.     Died    1780) 

Painting  by  Wm,  von  Camphausen 




VI.  his  successor  had  not  yet  been  crowned.  If  Francis  of  Lor- 
raine ascended  the  throne  of  Hungary  with  his  wife,  and  if  he, 
as  was  already  evident  that  he  would  be,  were  elected  emperor, 
Hungary  would  run  great  risk  of  becoming  a  mere  appanage  to 
Germany.  If,  on  the  contrary,  the  crown  of  St.  Stephen  were 
placed  on  the  head  of  Maria  Theresa  alone,  the  historic  individual- 
ity of  Hungary  would  have  much  greater  chance  of  being  pre- 
served. On  the  death  of  her  father,  Maria  Theresa  had  intrusted 
the  lieutenancy  to  John  Palffy,  an  old  companion  in  arms  of  Prince 
Eugene.  She  gave  him  full  power,  promised  to  respect  the  lib- 
erties of  the  kingdom,  and  shortly  to  convoke  the  diet.  This  diet 
was  actually  opened  on  May  i8,  1741.  The  debates  were  very 
animated,  ther  majority  being  strongly  opposed  to  the  idea  that  the 
husband  of  the  new  queen  should  be  associated  with  her  on  the 
throne  of  Hungary.  Some  days  later  at  Vienna  the  queen  re- 
ceived a  deputation  bringing  her  the  congratulations  of  the  diet, 
not  only  on  her  accession,  but  also  on  the  birth  of  her  first  son,  the 
future  Joseph  II.  This  deputation  received  renewed  assurances 
that  the  privileges  of  the  kingdom  would  be  respected,  and  that  the 
queen  would  very  shortly  come  to  Presbufg.  On  July  19  she 
embarked  on  the  Danube  in  a  boat  decorated  with  the  national 
colors  of  Hungary — red,  white,  and  green — and  as  she  passed  the 
frontier  she  was  saluted  with  a  cry  "  Vivat  domina  et  rex 
nostra!"  The  title  rex  had  been  given  by  the  Hungarians  to  the 
only  woman  who  had  reigned  before  her  in  Hungary.  On  the  21st 
she  received  the  homage  of  the  diet  in  the  castle  of  Presburg,  and 
in  a  Latin  speech  renewed  the  promises  which  she  had  made  to 
Palffy.  She  promised  to  maintain  all  the  rights  and  privileges  of 
the  kingdom,  with  the  single  exception  of  the  thirty-first  article  of 
the  Golden  Bull,  which  proclaimed  the  right  of  insurrection,  to 
leave  the  sacred  crown  in  Hungary,  and  to  renew  all  the  clauses 
of  the  Pragmatic  Sanction. 

The  diet  was  quite  sympathetic  toward  the  young  queen,  whose 
graceful  manners  conciliated  even  the  fiercest;  but  it  was  careful 
not  to  sacrifice  any  of  the  privileges  of  the  kingdom.  It  demanded 
that  the  nobles  should  be  free  from  taxation ;  that  the  peasants  and 
not  the  land  should  be  taxed;  that  Transylvania  should  be  indis- 
solubly  united  to  Hungary,  and  that  Hungarians  alone  should  hold 
office.  The  deliberations  were  turbulent,  but  by  good  fortune  the 
diet  elected  as  its  palatine  Palffy,  who  was  chivalrously  devoted  to 



the  queen.  He  won  over  the  most  troublesome  members  and  per- 
suaded the  diet  that  the  questions  still  pending-  should  be  decided 
after  the  coronation.  This  ceremony,  which  had  always  excited 
the  enthusiasm  of  the  Hungarians,  so  jealous  of  their  autonomy 
and  so  impassioned  for  the  sacred  crown,  took  place  now  under 
circumstances  of  unusual  interest.  It  was  a  young  and  beautiful 
princess  whose  bro'w  the  hereditary  diadem  now  encircled,  and 
who,  mounted  on  a  fiery  charger,  brandished  the  sword  of  St. 
Stephen  to  the  four  quarters  of  the  globe  from  the  top  of  the 
King's  Hill. 

"  She  was  one  of  the  most  beautiful  women  in  Europe."  writes 
an  English  eye-witness.  "  Her  figure  was  elegant  and  her  bear- 
ing majestic,  and  her  eyes  were  expressive  and  full  of  gentleness. 
It  was  only  a  short  time  before  that  she  had  given  birth  to  a  son,  and 
a  look  of  delicacy,  which  still  remained,  lent  a  new  charm  to  her 
features.  Everything  about  her  was  charming.  This  portrait, 
which  is  not  in  the  least  flattered,  should  always  be  kept  in  mind 
when  one  recalls  the  enthusiasm  which  the  princess  inspired  in  the 

Nevertheless,  after  the  coronation  the  disputes  recommenced. 
Even  the  hundred  thousand  florins  which  were  to  be  a  gift  on 
her  "  joyful  accession  "  were  made  the  subject  of  bargaining,  and 
the  Magyar  spirit  for  legal  form  expressed  itself  in  numberless 
quibbles  which  drew  tears  from  the  young  queen.  It  was  on  Sep- 
tember 13,  1 74 1,  that  the  first  scene  of  the  theatrical  episode  which 
contemporaries  have  exaggerated  took  place.  The  queen  had  sum- 
moned the  two  Tables  to  the  castle  of  Presburg,  and  there  she 
appeared  before  them,  dressed  in  mourning,  the  crown  upon  her 
head  and  the  sword  of  St.  Stephen  by  her  side.  The  dangers 
threatening  the  queen  and  Hungary  were  set  forth  by  the  chan- 
cellor, Louis  Batthyany,  after  which  the  queen,  in  a  short  Latin 
speech,  called  upon  the  assembly  to  provide  for  the  safety  of  her- 
self, her  children,  and  her  crown.  Her  words,  mingled  with  tears, 
excited  considerable  but  suppressed  emotion.  This  was  greatly 
increased  during  the  reply  of  the  primate,  who  was  frequently 
interrupted  by  cries  of  "  vitam  et  sanguincm";  and  a  levy  of 
100,000  men  was  at  once  decided  on.  The  prince-consort  was 
accepted  as  co- regent  of  the  kingdom,  and  he  took  the  oath  Septem- 
ber 21,  promising  to  devote  his  blood  and  his  life  to  the  queen  and  to 
Hungary,     It  was  on  this  occasion  that  Maria  Theresa  showed  her 



young  son  to  the  estates,  and  that  the  celebrated  cry  broke  forth — 
"  Moriamur  pro  rege  nostra  Maria  Theresa! "  It  was  by  no  means 
a  sudden  outburst  of  chivalrous  sentiment,  but  the  result  of  negotia- 
tions long-continued  and  of  emotions  skillfully  called  forth.  Con- 
temporaries themselves  were  deceived,  and  saw  in  this  a  single 
episode  of  a  moment,  ignorant  of  the  details  that  had  preceded. 

As  a  matter  of  fact  this  diet,  which  ended  on  October  29,  had 
devoted  itself  almost  entirely  to  the  preservation  of  Hungarian 
interests.  The  queen  had  agreed  to  all  its  demands,  which  were, 
moreover,  quite  legitimate;  she  had  consented  to  the  suppression 
of  some  military  frontiers,  and  had  obtained  in  exchange  for  these 
concessions  the  help  she  needed  to  continue  the  war.  On  the  other 
hand  the  enthusiasm  of  the  Hungarians  did  not  pass  away  with  the 
circumstances  which  had  given  it  birth.  Maria  Theresa  owed  to 
them  some  of  her  best  troops :  the  Servians  and  Croats  who,  com- 
manded by  Baron  Trenck,  gained  an  almost  legendary  reputation 
for  their  valor  and  cruelty.  These  fierce  pandours,  accustomed  to 
war  with  the  Turks,  and  now  suddenly  thrown  into  the  midst  of 
civilized  Europe,  brought  with  them  the  semi-barbarous  habits  de- 
rived from  their  frequent  contact  with  Asiatic  hordes.  The  devo- 
tion of  the  Magyars  to  Maria  Theresa  was  shown  upon  many  fields 
of  battle;  their  horsemen  penetrated  as  far  as  Berlin,  and  even  to 
Alsace.  Frederick  the  Great,  with  the  adroitness  common  to  Prus- 
sian ambition,  tried  to  destroy  the  fidelity  of  the  Hungarians  to 
their  queen  by  recalling  to  them  their  past  insurrections,  and  the 
services  which  Brandenburg  had  then  rendered  them ;  but  his  efforts 

This  exchange  of  services  between  the  Magyar  nobles  and  the 
court  of  Vienna  formed  a  tie  between  them  such  as  had  never 
previously  existed.  The  great  nobles  were  assiduous  in  their  at- 
tendance at  the  palaces  of  Vienna,  Schonbrunn,  and  Laxenburg, 
where  contact  with  the  Bohemian  and  Austrian  nobility  and  the 
gentle  influence  of  the  empress-queen  led  them  to  renounce  their 
national  costume  so  dear  to  their  traditions,  to  acquire  the  habit  of 
speaking  German,  and  to  seek  the  foreign  titles  of  prince,  count, 
or  baron.  It  was  at  this  time  that  the  bodyguard  of  Hungarians 
was  formed  at  Vienna,  and  that  the  Order  of  St.  Stephen  was 
founded.  By  means  of  ingeniously  arranged  marriages  and  a 
system  of  cleverly  devised  temptations,  the  greater  nobility  was 
by   degrees    Germanized.      But    the    lesser   nobility — the    landed 



gentry — remained  incorruptible,  and  in  the  discussions  of  the  Lower 
Table,  and  in  the  meetings  of  the  comitats,  they  continued  to  defend 
with  indomitable  obstinacy  the  privileges  of  the  kingdom.  The 
disputes  between  the  queen  and  the  chambers  turned  upon  two 
essential  questions:  the  condition  of  the  peasants  and  the  consti- 
tution of  the  military  frontiers.  The  peasants  were  serfs  of  the 
soil  in  Hungary,  but  in  the  eighteenth  century  ideas  of  philan- 
thropy, and  more  particularly  the  financial  condition  of  the  king- 
dom, required  the  abolition  of  serfdom.  The  queen  asked  for  a 
reform  of  the  old  system,  but  the  nobles  replied  by  a  series  of  com- 
plaints against  the  encroachments  of  the  German  administration, 
against  the  council  of  regency,  against  the  powers  of  military  com- 
manders, and  against  the  title  of  landtag  (local  diet),  which  had 
perhaps  been  designedly  given  to  the  Hungarian  diet  instead  of 
that  of  reichstag,  or  diet  of  the  kingdom.  But  in  spite  of  opposi- 
tion the  queen  issued  an  edict,  which  she  was  able  to  enforce  by 
dint  of  perseverance,  regulating  the  life  of  the  peasants.  This  law 
remained  a  fundamental  law  of  the  land  down  to  1832.  According 
to  it  the  peasants  were  henceforth  free  to  move  from  place  to  place 
and  to  bring  up  their  children  as  they  pleased,  while  all  legal  cases 
in  which  they  were  concerned  were  in  the  future  to  be  tried  before 
the  courts  of  the  comitats.  These  liberal  measures  were  accepted 
by  the  nobles  only  with  great  reluctance.  They  were  afforded, 
however,  some  compensation  in  the  matter  of  the  military  frontiers. 
The  old  system  of  the  court  at  Vienna  had  aimed  at  the  com- 
plete separation  of  the  frontier  lands  from  Hungary.  They  had 
been  freed  from  the  rule  of  the  Turks  by  the  imperial  arms,  it  was 
urged,  and  therefore  they  belonged  to  the  emperor.  Besides  the 
Slavs  of  these  regions,  strangers  to  the  Hungarian  nation,  were  in 
no  wise  anxious  to  be  reunited  to  the  Magyars.  They  preferred 
their  obligations  of  military  service  to  the  condition  of  Servian  serfs 
oppressed  by  the  comitat.  They  had,  besides,  certain  privileges,  such 
as  the  holding  of  an  assembly  of  their  own,  and  of  choosing  their 
bishop.  But  in  spite  of  all  this  Maria  Theresa  was  obliged  to  yield 
to  the  demands  of  the  Hungarians,  and  to  consent,  in  1750,  to  the 
suppression  of  the  frontiers  of  the  Theiss  and  the  Maros.  As  a 
result  of  this  one  hundred  thousand  Servians  left  the  country  and 
settled  in  Russia.  The  Austro-Hungarian  army  lost  some  of  its 
best  soldiers  by  the  exodus,  and  the  grdnszer  (soldiers  of  the  fron- 
tier), who  did  remain,  rose  in  rebellion  in  1755.     A  further  con- 



cession  was  made  to  the  Hungarians  when,  in  1776,  the  Servians 
were  forbidden  longer  to  maintain  an  agent  at  Vienna  to  look 
after  their  interests;  and  finally,  in  1779,  all  the  territory  between 
the  Maros,  the  Theiss,  the  Danube,  and  the  Carpathians  was  in- 
corporated in  the  kingdom  and  formed  into  three  comitats.  In 
this  manner  Hungary  gradually  recovered  the  territory  Vienna  had 
taken  from  her. 

In  1765  Maria  Theresa  associated  her  son  Joseph  with  her 
in  the  government,  with  the  title  of  co-regent.  The  philosophic 
mind  of  this  prince  would  seem  to  have  inspired  some  of  the  meas- 
ures decided  upon  soon  after,  as,  for  example,  the  suppression  of 
the  right  of  sanctuary  and  of  the  mendicant  orders,  and  the  assist- 
ance given  to  public  instruction  and  the  establishment  of  numerous 
village  schools.  The  Hungarians  are  grateful  to  him  to  this  day 
for  having  given  them  the  port  of  Fiume,  which  had  formerly  been 
dependent  on  Triest,  although  it  is  still  a  question  in  dispute 
whether  the  city  of  Fiume  was  united  to  Croatia  or  to  Hungary 
proper.  The  possession  of  the  town  has  been  claimed  most  ener- 
getically by  the  Croats,  but  the  government  of  Vienna  has  finally 
decided  that  it  belongs  to  Hungary. 

On  the  whole  the  kingdom  was  in  a  flourishing  condition  at 
the  death  of  Maria  Theresa.  From  the  national  point  of  view, 
however,  it  was  enfeebled,  and  had  lost  the  greater  part  of  those 
ancient  rights  the  maintenance  of  which  was  so  dear  to  patriots. 
The  diet  of  the  kingdom,  which  according  to  the  terms  of  the 
Golden  Bull  should  have  met  every  year,  was  convoked  only  three 
times  during  the  entire  reign. 

In  the  hereditary  provinces  of  the  Austrian  group,  as  well  as 
in  the  kingdoms  of  Bohemia  and  Bavaria,  Maria  Theresa  zeal- 
ously sought  to  develop  the  authority  of  the  prince  and  to  diminish 
that  of  the  estates.  Almost  all  the  executive  power  had  hitherto 
been  in  the  hands  of  the  prelates,  lords,  knights,  and  a  number  of 
privileged  towns;  justice  was  administered  by  the  towns  or  the 
lords ;  the  roads  were  bad,  and  the  militia  not  based  on  any  regular 
system.  Under  Maria  Theresa  the  government  began  to  interfere 
with  the  churches  and  schools,  and  tried  to  secure  to  the  citizens  of 
the  towns  the  position  which  had  hitherto  been  denied  them.  On  her 
accession  the  queen  retained  the  principal  advisers  of  her  father, 
but  after  the  Treaty  of  Aix-la-Chapelle  she  made  Haugwitz,  who 
rendered  her  most  important  services,  chancellor.      Chotek  was 



intrusted  with  the  reform  of  the  finances,  while  Kaunitz  was  given 
charge  of  foreign  affairs.  The  following  are  some  of  the  princi- 
pal measures  adopted  to  increase  the  power  of  the  central  govern- 
ment: The  right  of  voting  certain  of  the  indirect  taxes,  such 
as  the  tax  on  salt,  on  tobacco  and  on  stamped  paper,  were  taken  from 
the  diets;  the  estates  were  required  to  present  their  budgets  to 
the  court  of  accounts  at  Vienna ;  they  were  deprived  of  all  political 
power,  which  was  vested  in  the  royal  lieutenant;  the  corvees 
and  the  seigneurial  dues  of  the  peasants  were  diminished.  The 
division  of  administration  among  chanceries  of  Austria,  Bo- 
hemia, and  Hungary  and  Transylvania  was  abolished;  the  patent 
of  May  14,  1749,  separated  the  administration  of  justice  from  the 
legislative  and  executive  functions  of  government,  and  decreed 
the  union  of  the  two  chanceries  of  Austria  and  Bohemia  in  one 
supreme  power  called,  at  first,  the  directory  of  the  interior,  after- 
ward, the  united  chancery  of  the  imperial  and  royal  court.  Thus 
did  absolutism  take  the  first  step  to  bring  about  the  arrange- 
ment now  in  force  under  the  parliamentary  system  of  Cis- 
leithenia.  Maria  Theresa  also  instituted,  in  1760,  a  council  of 
state,  whose  business  it  was  to  watch  over  the  whole  administra- 
tion. By  degrees  administrative  power  was  withdrawn  from  the 
permanent  committees  of  the  provincial  diets  and  vested  in  the 
representatives  of  the  sovereign,  and  the  estates  were  only  allowed 
to  meet  for  the  purpose  of  voting  upon  the  measures  proposed  by 
the  crown.  Royal  officials  were  appointed  in  the  circles,  from  which 
they  had  hitherto  been  excluded.  Here  they  were  the  representa- 
tives of  the  central  authority  and  required  to  protect  the  peasants 
against  their  lords. 

The  peasants,  without  being  serfs — except  in  Hungary — were 
almost  entirely  dependent  upon  their  territorial  lords.  They  were 
not  the  proprietors  of  the  soil,  but  had  merely  the  usufruct  of  their 
holdings;  they  could  neither  quit  the  estate,  marry,  nor  bring  up 
their  children  to  any  other  business  than  that  of  laborer  without 
the  consent  of  their  lord,  and  they  were  bound  to  numberless  serv- 
ices comprised  under  the  name  of  robot-corvee.  Maria  Theresa 
undertook  to  ameliorate  their  condition.  In  order  to  regelate  the 
territorial  taxes  she  caused  a  new  land  survey  to  be  made  and  sup- 
pressed the  exemption  from  taxation  which  the  land  of  the  lords 
had  hitherto  enjoyed.  These  measures  suited  not  only  the  needs 
of  the  treasury,  but  also  the  humanitarian  ideas  coming  into  favor 



at  the  time.  They  were  appHed  to  all  the  Cis-leithenian  states 
except  the  Tyrol,  Gorica,  Gradisca,  and  Triest,  where  feudal 
institutions  had  never  taken  deep  root.  It  was  the  policy  of  Maria 
Theresa  to  improve  the  conditions  of  the  peasants  in  order  to 
weaken  the  nobles;  to  attract  the  great  lords  to  Vienna  in  order 
to  diminish  their  influence;  and  to  unify  the  aristocracy  of  the 
different  portions  of  the  empire  in  order  to  unify  the  monarchy. 

The  reform  of  the  communal  system  presented  considerable 
difficulty,  Down  to  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  century  there 
were  the  most  radical  differences  in  the  constitutions  of  the  various 
communes.  Some  depended  upon  a  lay,  others  upon  an  ecclesiastical 
lord,  while  others,  especially  cities  and  towns,  were  under  the  im- 
mediate authority  of  the  sovereign.  Some  enjoyed  almost  com- 
plete freedom,  while  others  were  constantly  tyrannized  over  by  the 
lords  or  by  the  agents  of  the  monarch.  Some  of  the  towns  even  pos- 
sessed the  right  of  representation  in  the  diet.  Their  constitutions 
differed  as  much  as  those  of  the  Italian  republics.  Here  the 
municipal  government  was  aristocratic,  there  a  pure  democracy; 
here  municipal  offices  were  hereditary,  there  elective.  The  insti- 
tutions of  the  Middle  Ages,  as,  for  example,  the  guilds,  were  still 
vigorous ;  there  were  burgesses  of  the  towns,  and  "  burgesses  of 
the  suburbs,"  "  great  burgesses,"  and  "  small  burgesses  " ;  while 
in  those  towns  which  were  under  Italian  influence,  such  as  Triest 
and  Gorica,  there  existed  a  patriciate,  or  hereditary  aristocracy. 
But  these  patriarchal  institutions  began  to  disappear  after  1748. 
A  law  passed  in  1776  proclaiming  freedom  of  trade  attacked  the 
principles  upon  which  the  corporations  and  guilds  were  based.  The 
administration  of  justice  was  also  intrusted  to  a  body  of  magis- 
trates, who  replaced  the  old  local  courts. 

In  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth  century  the  law  of  the  land 
consisted  solely  of  prescriptive  rights  and  local  customs,  the  de- 
ficiencies of  which  were  supplied  from  civil  or  Roman  law,  from 
canon  law,  and  in  some  provinces  from  imperial  decrees.  The 
basic  principle  in  all  was  that  every  citizen  should  be  judged  by  his 
peers.  Clergy,  universities,  nobles,  public  officials,  citizens,  peas- 
ants, and  Jews,  all  had  their  special  tribunals.  There  was  no  appeal 
from  the  lords  or  the  magistrates  in  the  towns.  Punishments  were 
still  barbarous,  those  most  in  vogue  being  branding,  mutilation,  the 
wheel,  and  the  stake,  and  these  terrible  penalties  were  usually  im- 
posed by  ignorant  and  superstitious  judges.     Civil  suits  dragged 



on  indefinitely,  and  often  no  final  decision  was  rendered  at  all.  In 
1753  Maria  Theresa  resolved  to  bring  about  uniformity  of  the  law 
in  all  parts  of  the  monarchy.  The  work  of  compilation  took  many 
years.  The  commission  appointed  by  her  produced  eight  folio  vol- 
umes in  1767.  These  were  afterward  abridged,  and  the  first 
volume  of  the  new  edition  appeared  in  1776.  In  1768  the  "  Con- 
stitutio  criminalis  Theresina  "  had  been  published.  It  retained  the 
barbarous  penalties  of  the  Middle  Ages,  admitted  torture,  and  pun- 
ished blasphemy.  But  in  1777  torture  was  finally  abolished  and 
trials  for  witchcraft,  although  not  entirely  suppressed,  were  at  least 
considerably  checked.  By  a  patent  of  1749  the  administration  of 
justice  had  been  separated  from  purely  provincial  business  and  a 
minister  of  justice  appointed  for  all  the  non-Hungarian  states.  Some 
of  these  praiseworthy  reforms,  it  must  be  admitted,  had  the  Utopian 
features  characteristic  of  the  eighteenth  century,  as,  for  example, 
the  so-called  commission  of  chastity,  whose  office  it  was  to  prevent 
unlawful  amours. 

Though  a  sincere  Catholic,  Maria  Theresa  never  sacrificed 
the  interests  of  the  state  to  the  church.  She  suppressed  the  ecclesi- 
astical penalties  which  the  priests  had  been  in  the  habit  of  impos- 
ing; forbade  the  various  religious  orders  from  sending  money  out 
of  the  country;  the  Papal  nuncio  to  travel  in  her  dominions,  and 
the  bishops  to  correspond  directly  with  Rome.  She  also  prohibited 
priests  from  assisting  in  the  making  of  wills,  and  in  1773  the  Order 
of  Jesuits  was  suppressed  in  Austria,  as  it  was  about  this  time  in 
many  other  countries.  Down  to  1740  public  instruction  was  en- 
tirely under  the  control  of  the  clergy;  scarcely  any  elementary 
schools  existed,  and  teaching  in  the  higher  schools  was  extremely 
poor.  Austria  was  in  a  pitiable  condition  of  inferiority  as  regards 
education  when  compared  with  France,  or  even  northern  Germany. 
A  foreigner  was  intrusted  with  its  improvement — Gerhard  van 
Swieten,  a  Dutch  professor  of  medicine  at  the  University  of  Vienna 
— who  was  physician  to  Maria  Theresa,  and  also  the  reactionary 
president  of  the  commission  for  the  censorship  of  the  press.  The 
schools  were  placed  under  the  control  of  the  state,  and  a  law  was 
passed  in  1749  reserving  the  sole  right  of  choosing  the  professors 
of  the  University  of  Vienna  to  the  government,  while  a  little  later 
the  schools  belonging  to  the  Jesuits  and  the  Piarists  were  placed 
under  the  state.  An  imperial  resolution  of  September  24,  1740, 
contained  the  following  words :    "  The  organization  of  schools  is 



and  must  always  remain  an  affair  of  the  state  "  (Das  Schulwesen 
ist  und  bleiht  allseit  ein  Politicum).  This  principle,  pushed  to  its 
extremes,  had  some  singular  consequences.  The  universities  were 
not  open  to  everyone,  and  no  one  could  study  abroad  without  the 
sanction  of  the  state.  Even  theological  works  were  submitted  to  the 
government  censorship,  a  censorship  that  was  very  rigorous  and 
often  quite  as  intolerant  as  that  of  the  ecclesiastics.  It  prohibited 
even  such  classical  works  as  those  of  Machiavelli.  A  great  number 
of  schools  for  the  young  nobility  were  founded  during  the  reign  of 
Maria  Theresa,  among  them  the  Theresianum,  which  exist  at  the 
j)resent  time. 

In  1766  the  commission  of  instruction  and  of  the  censorship  of 
the  press  was  founded.  The  suppression  of  the  Jesuits  had  consid- 
erable influence  on  education,  but  at  first  the  majority  of  the  pro- 
fessors had  to  be  chosen  from  among  ex- Jesuits,  as  the  number  of 
other  teachers  was  not  sufficient.  A  new  code  of  education,  pub- 
lished in  1775,  continued  in  force  down  to  1850. 

The  most  meritorious  act  of  Maria  Theresa  was  the  founda- 
tion of  elementary  schools.  Before  1770  primary  education, 
properly  so-called,  did  not  exist,  all  education  being  dependent 
upon  the  church.  In  May,  1 770,  the  first  normal  school  was  opened 
at  Vienna,  and  a  royal  edict  of  the  same  year  established  school- 
masters independent  of  the  priests.  The  suppression  of  the 
Jesuit  order  and  the  sequestration  of  their  property  had  placed 
ample  funds  in  the  hands  of  the  government  and  enabled  it  to 
convert  many  of  the  classical  into  elementary  schools.  In  1774  the 
celebrated  Silesian  teacher,  Felbinger,  was  summoned  to  Vienna 
to  introduce  good  methods  of  teaching.  At  the  same  time  higher 
education,  especially  at  the  University  of  Vienna,  rose  rapidly,  the 
faculties  of  medicine  and  of  law  taking  rank  among  the  first  in 
Europe.  In  literature  not  much  was  done :  poetry  was  still  halting 
and  clumsy.  The  rococo  style  dominated  in  architecture  and 
sculpture,  and  was  represented  at  Vienna  by  the  Italian  Canova. 
The  only  great  art  in  which  Austria  excelled  was  music,  and  under 
Gliick,  Haydn,  and  Mozart  it  attained  a  development  previously 
unknown.  Their  works,  moreover,  reveal  clearly  the  influences 
of  the  races  among  whom  they  were  composed;  they  combine 
the  melodious  brightness  of  the  Italian,  the  depth  of  harmony  of 
the  German,  and  the  melancholy  of  the  Slav. 

Francis  I.,  the  husband  of  Maria  Theresa,  devoted  himself 



especially  to  the  finances,  a  work  in  which  he  was  assisted  by 
Chotek,  a  Czech  noble.  He  was  well  acquainted  with  financial 
questions,  and  his  first  care  was  to  reduce  the  expenses  of  the  court. 
On  the  accession  of  Maria  Theresa  the  treasury  was  exhausted; 
it  is  stated  that  the  young  queen  found  only  eighty-seven  thousand 
thalers.  One  of  Chotek's  first  measures  was  to  levy  a  tax  on  prop- 
erty, then  one  on  persons,  which  affected  everybody  from  the  prince 
who  paid  six  hundred  florins  to  the  maid  who  paid  four  kreutzers. 
All  exemption  from  taxation  was  abolished. 

Chotek  was  also  the  first  to  show  the  use  that  could  be  made 
of  Triest  as  a  seaport  for  Austrian  commerce,  for  under  his  direc- 
tion the  town  grew  rapidly.  Dutch,  Neapolitan,  and  Greek  mer- 
chants established  trading  houses  there,  and  commerce  was  carried 
on  with  both  hemispheres.  By  1763  Austria  had  twelve  large  ships 
trading  with  India,  one  of  which  took  possession  of  the  Nicobar 
Islands  in  1776.  Triest  itself  was  frequented  by  six  thousand  ves- 
sels annually.  Twenty-five  consulates  were  established  in  the 
Atlantic  and  Mediterranean,  seven  in  Italy,  thirteen  in  European 
and  Asiatic  Turkey,  one  at  Ragusa,  one  at  Alexandria,  one  at 
Tripoli,  and  one  at  Lisbon.  The  Oriental  Academy,  founded  at 
Vienna  in  1754,  furnished  capable  and  well-educated  men  as  con- 
suls. The  board  of  trade  established  in  1766  did  much  to  develop 
commerce,  the  cloth  of  Moravia  especially  being  widely  in  demand. 

Roads  and  canals  were  improved,  and  the  customs  of  the  in- 
terior reduced  or  abolished.  Postal  arrangements  were  also  per- 
fected. Chotek  created  a  reserve  fund  for  unexpected  circum- 
stances, and  raised  the  credit  of  Austria  by  his  punctuality  in  paying 
the  interest  on  the  public  debt.  Under  Charles  VI.  the  public  rev- 
enue had  scarcely  reached  the  sum  of  thirty  million  florins;  by  1773 
it  amounted  to  almost  fifty-six  millions,  and  by  the  death  of  Maria 
Theresa  it  exceeded  eighty  millions.  A  patent  bearing  date  of 
1 75 1  reorganized  the  lottery,  which  was  bringing  in  not  less  than 
eight  hundred  thousand  florins  by  the  end  of  the  reign. 

The  system  of  centralization  was  also  applied  to  the  depart- 
ments of  war  and  foreign  affairs.  Each  state,  however,  retained 
the  right  of  voting  its  contingent  for  the  army.  The  total  num- 
ber of  troops  rose  to  ii3,ocx)  men,  not  counting  the  irregulars 
furnished  by  Hungary.  Military  schools  were  established,  and 
Maria  Theresa  took  special  pains  to  watch  over  the  welfare  of 
the  soldiers.    During  the  War  of  the  Austrian  Succession  a  special 



medal  was  struck  in  her  honor,  bearing  the  well-deserved  inscrip- 
tion "Mater  castrorum."  Some  reforms  were  borrowed  from 
the  Prussian  system,  as  for  example,  marching  in  time;  and  the 
corps  of  sappers  and  miners  was  introduced.  The  artillery, 
directed  by  Prince  Lichtenstein,  was  considered  the  best  in  Europe. 
In  1772  conscription  was  introduced  in  Bohemia,  Austria,  Mo- 
ravia, Camiola,  Carinthia,  and  Galicia.  During  the  Seven  Years' 
War  there  were  no  less  than  200,000  men  under  arms.  "  A 
woman,"  said  Frederick  the  Great,  "  has  carried  out  measures 
worthy  of  a  man."  The  navy  of  Austria  at  this  time  was  composed 
of  nine  ships  of  war,  carrying  no  guns,  and  six  galleys  of  36 
guns  each.  "  On  the  accession  of  Maria  Theresa,"  wrote  Son- 
nenfels,  "  the  monarchy  had  neither  external  influence  nor  internal 
vigor.  There  was  no  emulation  or  encouragement  for  ability; 
the  condition  of  agriculture  was  wretched,  trade  small,  the  finances 
badly  managed,  and  no  credit.  At  her  death  she  left  to  her  succes- 
sor a  state  improved  by  her  many  reforms,  and  raised  to  that  rank 
which  its  size,  fertility,  and  the  intelligence  of  its  inhabitants  ought 
always  to  insure."  Certainly  Maria  Theresa  has  greater  claims  to 
the  title  of  Great  than  Catherine  of  Russia. 

Chapter    XXII 

JOSEPH   II.    1 780-1 790 

JOSEPH  II.  was  forty  years  old  on  his  accession  to  the  throne. 
He  had  been  emperor  of  Germany  for  fifteen  years,  and  in 
a  certain  measure  his  mother  had  associated  him  with  her 
in  the  government  of  the  Austrian  states.  He  had  visited  the 
courts  of  Russia,  France,  and  Italy,  and  was  enthusiastically  de- 
voted to  the  philosophical  ideas  of  the  century,  awaiting  with  con- 
siderable impatience  the  time  when  he  could  apply  its  formulas  in 
his  own  dominions.  Among  the  contemporary  sovereigns  he  seems 
to  have  sought  an  ideal  in  Frederick  the  Great.  During  the  lifetime 
of  Maria  Theresa,  however,  he  was  forced  to  conceal  his  aspirations. 
There  existed  an  avowed  antagonism  between  the  old  court  of  the 
empress  and  the  young  court  of  the  emperor,  while  the  young 
prince,  so  long  confined  to  the  domain  of  pure  theory,  little  realized 
the  difficulties  that  would  arise  with  the  practical  application  of  his 
ideas.  The  Prince  de  Lig^e  said  of  him  some  months  before  his 
accession,  "  He  will  be  a  man  of  weak  desires,  which  he  will  never 
satisfy;  his  whole  reign  will  be  a  constant  desire  to  sneeze."  It 
has  been  well  said  of  the  greater  portion  of  the  innovations  or  re- 
forms of  the  French  Constituent  Assembly  that  they  had  first 
been  tried  by  Joseph  II,  But  the  violent  reforms  of  the  Revolution 
were  applied  to  a  homogeneous  people  much  more  enlightened  than 
were  the  Austrian  peoples,  and  even  in  France  many  of  them  would 
probably  never  have  been  accepted  if  they  had  not  been  enforced  by 
the  terrorism  of  the  convention  and  the  despotism  of  Napoleon.  The 
philosopher  king  Joseph  II.  looked  upon  men  as  so  many  pawns, 
ready  to  be  moved  about  at  will,  so  much  inert  matter  to  be  experi- 
mented upon  and  molded  by  the  royal  pleasure.  Of  the  many  re- 
forms he  tried  during  his  reign  some  came  too  soon,  others  too 
late.  Too  soon,  because  the  majority  of  the  people  were  not  yet 
ripe  for  the  ideas  of  liberalism  and  religious  tolerance  which  the 
sovereign  desired  to  grant  them ;  too  late,  because  the  consciousness 


JOSEPH    II  «6B 


of  their  separate  nationality  was  beginning  to  awake  among  the 
different  peoples  of  the  monarchy,  whom  the  sovereign  desired  to 
civilize  by  Germanizing.  Restricted  by  his  mother  to  the  direction 
of  military  affairs,  Joseph  II.  believed  that  he  could  govern  his 
states  as  he  would  a  regiment.  The  work  of  the  encylopedists  and 
of  the  French  economists,  especially  the  physiocrats,  were  his  fa- 
vorite studies,  and  he  aimed  at  making  philosophy  the  lawmaker  of 
his  empire.  But  he  could  find  in  Austria  no  such  men  to  aid  him 
in  carrying  out  his  plans.  Those  whom  he  did  have  belonged 
mainly  to  the  secret  societies  of  the  Freemasons  or  the  Illuminati, 
organizations  which  had  been  obliged  to  conceal  their  existence 
under  Maria  Theresa.  Under  Joseph,  however,  they  were  tol- 
erated, and  by  1785  Freemasonry  was  officially  recognized. 

The  programme  of  Joseph  II.  was  very  simple.  It  may  be 
summed  up  in  this  formula :  to  destroy  everything  not  in  harmony 
with  his  philosophical  doctrines,  without  regard  either  to  historical 
or  religious  traditions.  His  most  ardent  desire  was  to  bring  about 
a  complete  similarity  of  language  among  the  various  peoples  over 
whom  fate  had  placed  him  to  rule.  To  a  Hungarian  noble  who 
protested  against  the  introduction  of  the  German  language  in  that 
country  he  wrote,  "  Every  proposal  should  be  based  upon  the  •  ir- 
refutable arguments  of  reason.  .  .  .  The  German  language 
is  the  universal  language  of  my  empire.  I  am  emperor  of  Germany. 
The  states  which  I  possess  are  provinces  which  form  one  whole 
with  the  state  of  which  I  am  the  head.  If  Hungary  had  been  the 
most  important  of  my  possessions  I  should  not  have  hesitated  to 
make  all  the  others  speak  Hungarian." 

In  his  warfare  with  the  past  Joseph  II.  found  religious  tradi- 
tion and  faith  on  the  one  hand  and  historical  tradition  and  a  sense 
of  nationality  on  the  other,  the  greatest  obstacles.  We  shall  see 
how  he  provoked  a  patriotic  reaction  in  Bohemia  and  Hungary, 
the  results  of  which  are  felt  to-day,  while  even  in  his  struggle 
against  ultramontanism  he  did  not  always  have  right  on  his  side. 

From  the  very  beginning  of  his  reign  Joseph  declared  war  on 
the  Holy  See  and  the  religious  orders.  "  We  must  lessen  the 
influence  of  the  Ulemas,"  he  wrote  in  a  letter  addressed  to  Cardinal 
Herzan,  his  minister  in  Rome.  "  I  despise  superstitions  and  Sad- 
ducees;  I  must  free  my  people  from  them.  The  principles  of 
monasticism  are  in  flat  contradiction  to  human  reason."  On  an- 
other occasion  he  wrote  to  the  archbishop  of  Salzburg,  "  The  monks 



are  the  most  dangerous  and  the  most  useless  subjects  of  a  state." 
In  accordance  with  these  ideas  he  transferred  the  right  of  granting 
marriage  dispensations,  previously  reserved  to  the  Holy  See,  to 
the  Austrian  bishops;  forbade  religious  orders  to  recognize  as  their 
head  any  person  residing  in  a  foreign  land ;  the  publishing  of  Papal 
bulls  without  the  imperial  sanction;  the  teaching  of  the  two  Papal 
bulls,  "  Coena  Domini  "  and  "  Unigcnitus,"  which  defined  the  pre- 
rogatives of  the  Pope;  the  use  of  titles  conferred  by  the  Roman 
chancery ;  that  young  men  go  to  Rome  to  study  at  the  German  col- 
lege ;  and  the  sending  of  money  to  Rome. 

All  these  measures  were  enacted  in  the  first  year  of  his  reign. 
The  year  following  Joseph  attacked  the  convents.  At  a  single 
blow  he  suppressed  more  than  six  hundred  monasteries  of  those 
orders  which  made  religious  contemplation  their  sole  object,  and 
decreed  that  their  property  should  be  applied  to  charitable  works. 
He  had  them  sold  at  a  low  price,  not  excepting  even  the*  works 
of  art  or  the  sacred  utensils;  the  number  of  monks,  which  had 
been  about  sixty-three  thousand,  was  reduced  to  twenty  thousand, 
and  these  were  strictly  forbidden  to  retain  any  relations  with 
foreign  countries.  The  monarch  even  intervened  in  the  details 
of  public  worship,  forbidding  the  placing  of  the  votive  offerings 
in  the  churches,  the  reading  of  more  than  one  mass  at  a  time, 
and  the  setting  apart  of  altars  with  special  privileges  in  the  mat- 
ter of  indulgences  or  the  organization  of  pilgrimages.  He  also 
forbade  the  use  of  metal  candlesticks  and  wooden  coffins,  a  simple 
sheet  being  declared  sufficient  for  burial.  These  two  prohibitions 
were  the  result  of  an  idea  of  economy,  the  king  maintaining  that  it 
was  useless  to  waste  so  much  silver,  copper,  and  wood. 

The  Edict  of  Toleration,  also  published  in  1781,  granted  the 
exercise  of  their  religion  to  Lutherans,  Calvinists,  and  non-Uniate 
Greeks.  They  were  granted  the  right  to  have  schools  and  churches, 
but  without  towers  or  bells  and  without  doors  open  to  the  public 
road,  excepting  in  Hungary  and  in  Transylvania,  where  liberty  of 
conscience  was  always  more  or  less  in  vogue.  Members  of  the 
different  sects  were  granted  the  right  to  acquire  property  and 
to  hold  public  office.  The  condition  of  the  Jews  was  ameliorated; 
they  were  allowed  to  attend  the  university  and  to  practice  medicine. 
For  more  than  a  century  and  a  half  toleration  had  been  entirely 
unknown  in  Austria,  and  now  when  it  was  proclaimed  Hussites. 
Utraquists,   and   Bohemian    Brothers   immediately    reappeared    in 



Bohemia.  But  Joseph  II.  had  a  fashion  of  himself  determining 
what  was  meant  by  rehgious  tolerance,  and  kept  it  within  official 
bounds.  A  sect  of  Deists  having  been  organized  in  Bohemia,  he 
issued  a  decree  of  which  one  of  the  articles  reads  as  follows :  "  If 
a  man  or  a  woman  inscribes  himself  in  the  lists  at  the  chancery  of 
the  circle  as  a  deist,  the  person  must  immediately  receive  twenty- 
four  blows  from  the  stick,  not  because  he  is  a  deist,  but  because  he 
pretends  to  be  something  about  which  he  knows  nothing."  This 
conception  of  liberalism  closely  approaches  that  entertained  by  Peter 
the  Great,  and  yet  these  incomplete  and  absurd  measures  dealt 
terrible  blows  at  Catholicism.  The  Archbishop  of  Vienna  and 
Pesth  protested  vigorously,  as  did  the  clergy  in  general,  and  Pope 
Pius  VI.,  believing  that  he  would  be  able  to  avert  the  dangers 
which  threatened  the  Austrian  church,  took  the  unheard-of  step 
of  making  a  journey  to  Vienna.  On  his  arrival  he  was  lodged 
in  the  imperial  castle  and  treated  less  as  a  guest  than  as  a  prisoner, 
not  being  allowed  to  communicate  even  with  the  Austrian  bishops, 
and  although  received  with  the  most  enthusiastic  veneration  by  the 
Viennese,  he  failed  utterly  to  move  the  skepticism  of  the  prince. 

After  the  departure  of  the  Pope,  Joseph  II.  renewed  his  cam- 
paign against  religious  institutions  with  redoubled  energy.  He 
suppressed  all  the  convents  of  the  mendicant  orders,  even  those 
of  the  Trinitarians,  whose  mission  it  was  to  ransom  captives  from 
barbarous  peoples.  He  would  no  longer  permit,  said  he,  the  send- 
ing of  money  abroad — he  had  provided  for  the  interests  of  his 
subjects  by  treaties  and  the  establishment  of  consuls.  A  still  se- 
verer blow  to  the  church  was  struck  in  the  decree  concerning 
marriage,  published  in  January,  1783,  It  made  marriage  a  purely 
civil  contract,  and  allowed  divorce.  The  emperor  also  deprived  all 
foreign  bishops  of  their  property  in  Austria  and  annexed  them  to 
his  dominions ;  at  the  same  time  he  compelled  the  Austrian  bishops 
to  surrender  all  possessions  which  involved  dealings  with  a  foreign 
power.  As  an  offset  to  all  this  he  greatly  increased  the  number 
of  country  curates  and  primary  schools.  Finally,  however,  the 
continual  protests  of  the  Holy  See  bore  some  fruit.  The  em- 
peror journeyed  to  Rome,  and  in  an  interview  with  the  Sovereign 
Pontiff  conceded  some  relaxation  in  his  attitude  toward  the  church, 

Josephinism,  as  this  policy  has  been  called,  preceded  by  nearly 
a  century  the  Kulturkampf  of  modern  Germany.  The  universities 
were  as  harshly  treated  as  the  church  upon  which  they  had  so  long 



depended.  They  were  deprived  of  their  property  and  made  state 
establisliments.  But  Joseph  II.  was  essentially  utilitarian,  and  ex- 
pressed little  serious  interest  in  education  except  for  primary  in- 
struction. On  the  other  hand,  Austria  owes  to  him  many  philan- 
thropic establishments,  such  as  hospitals  and  schools  of  med- 
cine  and  surgery.  In  1783  a  German  university  was  founded 
at  Lemberg  for  the  purpose  of  Germanizing  Galicia.  Everything 
that  recalled  a  past  hateful  to  the  emperor  was  treated  with  merci- 
less brutality.  Thus  the  palace  of  Hradcany,  at  Prague,  was 
turned  into  cavalry  barracks,  the  objects  of  art  which  adorned 
it  being  abandoned  to  downright  pillage.  A  list  of  the  latter  drawn 
up  by  his  agents  describes  Titian's  "  Leda  "  thus,  "  Item,  a  naked 
woman  bitten  by  a  wild  goose."  Most  of  the  legal  measures  of  the 
emperor  recall  the  excesses  of  the  Reformation  or  those  of  the 
French  Revolution. 

An  enemy  of  feudal  rights,  and  an  enthusiastic  philanthropist, 
Joseph  II.  abolished  serfdom  in  Moravia,  Galicia,  and  Hungary, 
and  granted  to  the  emancipated  serfs  the  complete  ownership  of  the 
lands  they  cultivated.  The  powers  of  the  kreisdtnter  (officials  of 
the  circles)  were  augmented  so  as  to  completely  destroy  those  of 
the  lords.  Everything  was  done  to  Germanize  Bohemia  and  Hun- 
gary and  to  reduce  them  to  the  position  of  simple  provinces.  The 
whole  of  the  Austrian  possessions  were  divided  into  thirteen  gov- 
ernments, and  subdivided  into  circles  with  a  captain  (kreishaupt- 
rtiann)  at  the  head  of  each.  They  were  Galicia;  Bohemia;  Mo- 
ravia and  Silesia;  Lower  Austria;  Inner  Austria  (Styria,  Carinthia, 
and  Camiola),  the  Tyrol;  Outer  Austria  (possessions  in  south- 
western Germany)  ;  Transylvania ;  Hungary ;  Croatia ;  Lombardy ; 
Gorica,  Gradiska,  and  Triest;  and  the  Low  Countries. 

Diets  were  no  longer  convoked,  and  the  privileges  of  the  royal 
towns  were  entirely  suppressed.  Each  town  had  a  burgomaster, 
aided  by  two  or  three  councilors,  who  were  really  state  officials. 
Imbued  with  the  theories  of  the  physiocrats,  Joseph  II.  undertook 
a  thorough  reorganization  of  the  system  of  taxation.  His  ideal  was 
to  be  able  ultimately  to  obtain  an  average  of  forty  per  cent,  upon 
all  articles  for  the  use  of  the  treasury;  until  this  could  be  accom- 
plished he  contented  himself  with  establishing  an  impost  levied  on 
the  income  from  land  calculated  upon  the  average  yield  of  the  last 
ten  years.  He  decreed  that  thirty  per  cent,  of  the  net  produce  of 
the  land  should  be  set  aside  for  the  use  of  the  state,  and  neither 

JOSEPH    II  269 


nobles  nor  priests  were  to  be  exempt  from  payment.  Two  commis- 
sions of  taxation  were  created,  one  for  Hungary,  the  other  for  the 
rest  of  the  monarchy,  and  a  government  survey  at  an  enormous 
expense  was  undertaken. 

The  efforts  of  Joseph  to  enrich  his  people  through  commerce 
were  especially  airected  to  the  Low  Countries,  which  possessed  ex- 
cellent harbors  for  merchant  vessels.  His  attempt  to  establish  the 
free  navigation  of  the  Scheldt,  in  which  he  failed  because  of  the 
combined  resistance  of  the  Dutch  and  the  French,  is  worthy  of 
note.  He  was  more  successful  on  the  Danube,  and  the  natural 
riches  of  Hungary — wheat,  wine,  and  cattle — were  sold  with  much 
greater  profit  than  formerly.  A  road,  called  after  him  the  Via 
Josephina,  was  constructed  to  unite  the  town  of  Karlstadt  with  the 
ports  of  Zeng  and  Bag,  and  the  ports  on  the  Adriatic,  especially 
Fiume,  were  improved.  Owing  to  the  friendly  terms  with  the 
Porte  the  emperor  saved  Austrian  ships  from  the  attacks  of  the  Bar- 
bary  corsairs,  and  reciprocal  treaties  of  commerce  were  concluded 
with  the  emperor  of  Morocco,  with  Turkey,  and  with  Russia.  In 
these  commercial  enterprises  Joseph  was  aided  by  the  director  of 
commerce,  Count  Zinzendorf,  who  had  been  governor  of  Triest. 
Trade  with  the  Levant  acquired  a  degree  of  prosperity  previously 
unknown.  Factories  were  even  established  in  China  and  the  Indies, 
and  Joseph  secured  from  Hyder  AH  the  possession  of  the  Nicobar 
Islands.  The  time  had  passed  when  it  could  be  said  that  the 
Viennese  did  not  even  know  how  to  weave  a  pair  of  silk  stockings. 
Numerous  manufactories  arose,  and  the  emperor  did  his  utmost  to 
develop  home  industries  and  to  restrict  the  importation  of  foreign 
commodities.  He  was  anxious  that  the  merchants  of  his  dominions 
should  no  longer  be  merely  "  the  agents  of  the  English,  French,  and 
Dutch."  A  law  of  1784  established  a  thorough-going  protective 
system,  by  which  the  importation  of  foreign  products  was  entirely 
forbidden.  Private  persons  only  could  bring  in  articles  of  food  on 
payment  of  heavy  duties,  in  many  cases  amounting  to  sixty  per 
cent.  Even  the  importation  of  salted  fish  was  forbidden,  and  in 
order  to  set  a  good  example  the  emperor  had  all  the  foreign  wine 
of  his  cellars  distributed  among  the  hospitals.  This  system  natu- 
rally developed  smuggling  and  informers,  but  it  was  rigorously 
enforced.  It  should  be  noted  also  that  the  greater  part  of  the  manu- 
factories thus  established  were  erected  by  foreigners — Swiss, 
French,  and  English — who  carried  off  a  large  portion  of  the  mil- 



lions  which  the  emperor  was  thus  trying  by  force  to  keep  in  his 

The  legislative  work  which  was  done  by  Maria  Theresa  was 
continued  by  Joseph.  He  published  a  civil  code,  which  formed 
the  basis  of  that  of  Francis  H.,  the  code  still  in  use  in  the  Austrian 
dominions.  His  penal  code  bears  the  stamp  of  his  own  philo- 
sophical ideas.  The  cruel  punishments  retained  by  Maria  Theresa 
for  blasphemy  and  sorcery  were  abolished  and  the  criminal  courts 
were  reorganized.  The  punishment  of  death  was  reserved  for  re- 
bellion alone,  and  trials  for  witchcraft  were  abolished.  But  this 
code,  so  humane  in  some  respects,  still  allowed  imprisonment  in  irons 
for  thirty  years,  the  condemned  being  chained  to  the  wall  of  the 
prison.  Some  penalties  were  absurd,  others  of  Draconian  severity. 
Criminals  were  condemned  to  be  chained  in  pairs,  whatever  their 
rank,  and  forced  to  sweep  the  streets  of  Vienna  or  to  drag  the 
boats  which  came  up  the  Danube. 

In  foreign  affairs  Joseph  II.  adhered  faithfully  to  the  policy 
of  rounding  out  his  territories,  after  the  example  of  Frederick  the 
Great.  Hence,  while  seriously  interesting  himself  in  the  Low 
Countries,  he  understood  perfectly  that  they  were  a  source  of 
weakness  rather  than  of  strength  for  Austria.  In  1785  he  tried 
to  exchange  them  for  Bavaria,  but  Frederick  the  Great  spoiled  the 
plan,  and  the  project  had  to  be  abandoned,  the  Prussian  king 
uniting  the  leading  German  princes  in  an  alliance  known  as  the 
Fiirstenbund  against  the  ambitions  of  Austria  in  Germany.  Four 
years  later,  in  1789,  trouble  broke  out  in  Belgium.  These  prov- 
inces, wearied  by  the  imperial  despotism  which  attacked  both 
the  national  liberties  and  the  religious  institutions  dear  to  a  popula- 
tion strongly  Catholic,  rose  and  proclaimed  their  independence. 
This  movement  was  not  suppressed  till  after  the  death  of  Joseph  II. 
Against  Turkey  he  took  up  again  the  traditional  policy  of  Leo- 
pold I.  and  Charles  VI.,  which  involved  a  close  alliance  with 
Russia.  In  an  interview  with  Catherine  II.,  in  1786,  he  had 
formed  a  plan  with  the  empress  which  involved  the  total  expul- 
sion of  the  Turks  from  Europe,  and  the  partition  of  their 
lands  between  France,  England,  Austria,  Spain,  and  Russia. 
When  the  war  broke  out  between  Turkey  and  Russia  he  took  part 
without  hesitation.  He  sent  his  troops  against  the  Turks  "  in 
order  to  recover  those  lands  which  unfortunate  circumstances  had 
separated  from  his  empire,"  and  because  he  was  determined  not  to 



allow  the  Russians  to  be  the  sole  heirs  of  the  ruins  of  Turkey.  In 
a  letter  addressed  to  the  king  of  Prussia  he  announced  his  inten- 
tion of  Germanizing  his  conquests. 

About  this  time  the  people  of  the  Balkan  peninsula  began  to 
bestir  themselves  and  to  dream  of  their  former  independence. 
Signs  of  the  coming  Servian  revolution  appeared,  and  the 
first  Servian  national  poet,  Dositei  Obradovic,  greeted  the  Aus- 
trian army  enthusiastically.  His  poem  of  "  Servia  Delivered " 
had  a  frontispiece  representing  Joseph  II.  breaking  the  chains 
of  the  southern  Slavs.  "  Noble  sovereign,  Joseph  the  Great ! " 
cried  the  poet,  "  extend  thy  protection  to  the  Servian  race. 
Turn  thy  beneficent  face  toward  the  people  dear  to  thy  an- 
cestors, to  wretched  Servia  and  Bosnia,  who  suffer  miseries 
without  number.  Glory  of  the  world,  illustrious  monarch !  restore 
to  Bulgaria  her  boyars,  to  Servia  her  heroes  of  old  time,  and  to 
Greece  her  Pindars ! "  But  the  hour  for  the  emancipation  of  the 
Christians  of  the  Danube  had  not  yet  sounded,  and  the  Austria 
of  Joseph  II.  was  hardly  the  instrument  fit  for  this  purpose.  It 
would  have  brought  them  only  the  doubtful  benefit  of  German- 
ization.  Nevertheless,  extensive  preparations  for  war  were  made 
— 245,000  infantry  and  36,000  cavalry  were  set  on  foot.  But  this 
vast  army  was  not  concentrated,  but  scattered  from  the  Dniester  to 
the  Adriatic.  Joseph  II.  himself  took  command,  but  becoming  ill 
returned  to  Vienna,  after  having  lost  45,000  men  from  disease  and 
fighting.  Loudon  was  left  in  command  and  carried  on  the  war 
with  vigor,  capturing  Belgrade  September  29,  1789,  and  then 
pushing  on  into  Bosnia. 

But  the  emperor  did  not  long  survive  these  triumphs.  The 
revolt  in  the  Low  Countries  and  the  concessions  which  he  was 
obliged  to  make  to  Hungary  affected  his  generous  but  poorly  bal- 
anced mind.  He  had  been  forced  to  humiliate  himself  before  Pius 
VI.,  whom  he  had  formerly  defied,  in  order  to  induce  him  to  exhort 
the  Belgians  to  return  to  their  obedience.  To  the  Hungarians  he 
restored  their  confiscated  privileges,  and  sent  the  crown  of  St. 
Stephen  to  Pesth.  On  February  20,  1790,  he  died  at  the  com- 
paratively early  age  of  forty-nine,  and  it  is  said  he  composed  the 
following  epitaph  for  his  tomb :  "  Here  lies  a  prince  whose  inten- 
tions were  pure,  but  who  was  unfortunate  in  all  his  undertakings." 

The  word  Josephinism  has  remained  in  the  language  of  Aus- 
tria to  express  those  ideas  which  he  endeavored  to  introduce,  and 



which  failed  because  of  the  tenacity  of  historical  and  religious  preju- 
dices. Nevertheless,  his  philanthropy  and  his  love  for  his  people, 
manifested  in  so  many  instances,  have  assured  his  name  a  memory 
of  considerable  popularity.  In  a  Moravian  village  a  monument  is 
still  standing  on  the  spot  where  the  emperor  with  his  own  hands 
gfuided  the  plow,  to  show  his  interest  in  agriculture.  The  peasants 
celebrate  his  good  deeds  even  in  our  time,  and  for  many  years 
they  refused  to  believe  in  his  death. 

Historians  both  of  Hungary  and  Bohemia  regard  the  reign  of 
Joseph  II.  as  a  disastrous  period  for  their  respective  countries. 
From  the  very  outset  he  adopted  a  series  of  measures  which  deeply 
irritated  the  Magyars.  With  his  philosophical  ideas  he  looked 
upon  the  crown  of  St.  Stephen  as  a  bauble  and  the  liberties  of  Hun- 
gary as  the  mythical  relics  of  barbarism.  The  political  customs  of 
the  country  pleased  him  no  more  than  its  manners,  and  he  took 
great  delight  in  ridiculing  the  long  beards  and  soft  boots  of  the 
magnates.  He  never  would  be  crowned  nor  would  he  appoint  a 
palatine.  He  irritated  the  prelates  by  his  measures  against  the 
convents,  without  satisfying  the  Protestants  by  his  tolerance,  be- 
cause it  was  always  tyrannical.  He  refused  to  unite  Galicia  to 
Hungary  despite  the  fact  that  that  province  had  been  regained  on 
the  plea  of  the  rights  of  the  crown  of  St.  Stephen.  He  began 
by  concentrating  all  the  business  of  the  country  in  the  Hungarian 
chancery  and  the  council  of  lieutenancy  established  at  Buda.  In 
1784  he  ordered  that  the  holy  crown  should  be  brought  to  him  at 
Vienna  to  be  kept  in  the  imperial  treasury.  To  confiscate  this 
symbol  of  Hungarian  independence  was  to  the  Magyars  the  same 
as  an  attempt  to  suppress  the  nation  itself,  and  the  affront  was 
deeply  resented.  Up  to  that  time  the  official  language  of  the  king- 
dom had  been  Latin,  a  neutral  language  between  the  various  idioms 
used  in  Hungary.  Joseph  believed  he  was  proving  his  liberal  princi- 
ples by  substituting  German,  and  the  diet,  which  was  no  longer 
convoked,  was  unable  to  complain  against  this  arbitrary  and  im- 
politic act.  But  the  comitats  gave  utterance  to  bitter  complaints. 
Joseph  II.  soon  learned  that  it  was  not  wise  to  attack  the  dearest 
prejudices  of  the  nation,  and  the  edict  which  proscribed  the  Hun- 
garian language  was  the  very  act  which  gave  the  signal  for  its 

Magyar  literature  had  existed  for  some  time.  Among  the 
young  Hungarians  who  composed  the  Hungarian  guard  of  Maria 



Theresa  were  several,  notably  the  poet  Bessenyi,  who  had  culti- 
vated the  national  poetry  with  much  enthusiasm.  Historical  col- 
lections in  the  Hungarian  language  had  been  begun,  and  now  the 
attacks  of  Joseph  II.  gave  fresh  vigor  to  the  new  movement.  Other 
measures  helped  to  excite  the  nation,  and  the  spirit  of  patriotism 
increased.  Joseph  decreed  a  general  census,  which  was  to  serve 
as  a  basis  for  recruiting  the  army.  In  this  no  distinction  was  made 
between  classes,  and  the  comitats  were  entirely  disregarded.  The 
dissatisfaction  became  serious,  and  troops  had  to  be  sent  to  protect 
the  officers  in  charge  of  the  work.  It  was  still  worse  when  Joseph 
proceeded  to  meddle  with  the  comitats  themselves.  He  suppressed 
their  meetings  and  placed  at  their  head  an  officer  named  by  him- 
self. The  country  was  divided  into  ten  circles,  each  governed  by  a 
captain  (kreishauptmann) ,  a  name  which  is  still  hated  in  Hun- 
gary. These  imprudent  measures  were  to  some  extent  atoned  for 
by  the  liberal  reforms  which  accompanied  them,  as,  for  example, 
the  suppression  of  the  feudal  courts;  but  the  Hungarians  were  too 
irritated  to  appreciate  them.  Moreover,  the  nobility  was  not  suf- 
ficiently enlightened  to  share  the  ideas  of  the  sovereign  concerning 
taxes  which  made  the  land  and  not  the  peasant  the  basis  of  taxa- 
tion, and  the  efforts  of  Joseph  to  obtain  an  accurate  survey  of  the 
land  met  with  much  resistance.  At  the  time  of  the  Turkish  cam- 
paign the  comitats  refused  to  supply  men  and  provisions,  and  the 
issue  of  the  campaign  was  not  sufficiently  brilliant  to  appeal  to 
them  on  the  basis  of  military  prestige  and  glory.  On  all  sides 
the  convocation  of  the  diet  was  demanded.  Some  of  the  comitats 
declared  the  demands  of  the  king  illegal;  others  suppressed  the 
royal  order,  while  the  general  discontent  was  so  great  that  several 
opened  negotiations  with  the  king  of  Prussia.  Joseph,  ill  and 
wearied  of  the  ten  years'  struggle,  yielded  and  in  an  ordinance  of 
January,  1790,  recalled  all  his  reforms,  and  restored  everything  to 
the  conditions  of  1780,  with  the  exception  of  his  measures  for  re- 
ligious tolerance  and  the  improvement  of  the  condition  of  the 

In  Bohemia  likewise  he  refused  to  be  crowned,  and  he  in- 
sulted the  Bohemians  in  their  most  cherished  national  feelings  by 
turning  the  palace  of  his  predecessors  into  a  barracks.  The  re- 
ligious tolerance  which  he  granted  was  undoubtedly  a  blessing  to 
the  kingdom,  but  those  of  his  subjects  who  would  not  join  the 
official  sects  were  severely  persecuted.    Deists  were  flogged  and  ex- 



iled  into  Hungary,  and  their  children  torn  from  them  in  order  to 
be  educated  in  the  state  rehgion,  while  the  number  of  those  who 
declared  their  adhesion-  to  the  Augsburg  Confession  did  not  exceed 
forty-five  thousand.  Entrance  to  the  gymnasium  was  denied  all 
those  who  did  not  possess  a  knowledge  of  German,  and  this  lan- 
guage was  substituted  for  Latin  in  the  teaching  of  the  faculty  of 
philosophy  at  tlfe  University  of  Prague.  The  functions  of  the 
court  of  appeal  at  Prague  were  restricted  to  Bohemia,  and  no  longer 
allowed  to  extend  to  Moravia,  while  Prague  was  deprived  of  its 
title  of  residenzstadt,  which  was  henceforth  reserved  to  Vienna. 
The  functions  of  the  diet  were  considerably  diminished,  the  em- 
peror forbidding  the  estates  to  dispose  of  their  own  fund  or  special 
budget  without  the  sanction  of  the  court  chamber  (hofkammer) 
of  Vienna.  In  1783  he  suppressed  the  standing  committee  of  the 
diet  and  transferred  its  authority  to  the  central  government.  In- 
deed, the  only  one  of  their  ancient  rights  the  estates  retained  was 
that  of  voting  taxes,  although  the  manner  in  which  they  were  to 
be  raised  was  taken  from  their  control.  Finally,  in  1788,  Joseph 
announced  to  the  diet  that  it  was  to  limit  its  deliberations  to  mat- 
ters submitted  to  it  by  the  sovereign,  and  that  it  would  be  convoked 
only  at  his  pleasure.  The  estates  protested,  and  when  the  new 
patent  concerning  taxes  was  published,  in  February,  1789,  the  high 
chancellor  of  Bohemia  and  Austria,  Count  Rudolf  Chotek,  refused 
to  sign  it  and  sent  in  his  resignation. 

After  so  many  attacks  on  its  independence  and  its  nationality, 
it  might  seem  that  Bohemia  would  have  been  entirely  crushed  as 
a  separate  nation,  and  that  she  was  ready  to  become  a  German 
province  of  the  Austrian  state.  But  the  moment  of  her  deepest 
humiliation  was  precisely  the  moment  of  her  regeneration.  This 
revival  was  closely  linked  in  certain  of  its  phases  to  the  general 
reaction  which  followed  the  death  of  Joseph  II.  Its  first  symp- 
toms appeared  almost  directly  after  the  coronation  of  his  successor. 
"  The  oppression  of  Joseph  II.,"  says  Count  Caspar  Sternberg  in  his 
memoirs,  "  has  awakened  the  spirit  of  nationalism  which  had  slept 
for  a  long  time.  The  emperor,  who  wished  to  centralize  every- 
thing, desired  also  to  suppress  the  Bohemian  language,  but  no 
people  would  allow  the  palladium  of  its  national  existence  to  be 
snatched  from  it.  At  the  coronation  all  those  who  speak  Czech 
might  be  heard  using  that  language  in  the  very  corridors  of  the 
palace."    The  Czechs  themselves  date  the  new  birth  of  their  na- 



tionality  from  the  reign  of  Joseph  II.  Bohemia  owes  to  this  prince 
only  one  benefit — the  foundation  of  the  Royal  Society  of  Sciences, 
which  flourishes  to-day,  and  which  from  its  very  beginning  became 
the  center  of  those  historical  researches  which  contributed  so 
powerfully  to  the  revival  of  Slavism  in  Bohemia. 

The  new  sovereign,  Leopold  II.,  who  reigned  only  two  years, 
from  1790  to  1792,  had  been  serving  in  Tuscany  an  apprenticeship 
in  the  art  of  governing  since  1765,  and  the  wisdom  of  his  ad- 
ministration, which  was  both  intelligent  and  paternal,  had  rightly 
called  forth  the  praises  of  economists  and  philosophers.  On  his 
accession  he  yielded  gracefully  to  the  violent  reaction  already  set- 
ting in  against  the  policy  of  his  brother.  He  began  by  declaring 
that  he  considered  the  estates  of  the  provinces  as  the  pillars  of 
the  monarchy,  that  he  would  restore  their  privileges,  and  that  he 
would  labor  hard  with  them  to  bring  the  interests  of  the  people 
into  harmony  with  those  of  the  sovereign.  He  suppressed  those 
measures  of  Joseph  II,  which  had  caused  most  irritation,  suspended 
the  system  of  taxation  which  held  the  commune  responsible  for  the 
taxes  of  all  the  inhabitants,  opened  the  frontiers  to  foreign  prod- 
ucts, and  redressed  many  of  the  real  grievances  of  the  Bohemians 
and  Hungarians.  He  restored  many  of  their  most  important  rights 
to  the  clergy,  especially  those  of  regulating  the  liturgy,  holding 
synods  with  the  sanction  of  the  government,  and  organizing  the 
administration  of  the  parishes.  On  the  other  hand  he  retained  the 
measures  which  prohibited  the  publication  of  bulls  without  the 
royal  sanction,  which  deprived  the  bishops  of  the  administration 
of  the  funds  of  the  dioceses,  and  which  subjected  ecclesiastics  to 
the  jurisdiction  of  the  ordinary  courts.  This  policy  satisfied  and 
disarmed  the  clergy. 

But  Leopold  II.  was  less  fortunate  in  his  dealings  with  the 
revolted  Netherlands.  He  made  the  most  liberal  promises,  offering 
them  complete  amnesty,  and  promising  no  longer  to  intrust  public 
office  to  strangers,  to  give  the  control  of  the  army  to  the  estates, 
and  to  make  no  law  without  their  consent.  They  refused  to  yield, 
and  he  was  obliged  to  have  recourse  to  arms.  An  army  of  30,000 
men  was  brought  together  in  Luxemburg  and  sent  into  the  Neth- 
erlands. Namur  and  Brussels  were  soon  taken,  and  Belgium  was 
reconquered,  only  to  become  in  a  few  years  the  battlefield  for  the 
struggle  against  the  French  Revolution. 

In  the  meantime  the  war  against  Turkey  continued.    The  sue- 



cess  of  the  Austrian  arms  made  England,  and  especially  Prussia, 
uneasy.  The  latter  mobilized  an  army  on  the  borders  of  Silesia 
and  encouraged  the  malcontents  of  the  Low  Countries.  But  in 
spite  of  this  Leopold  entered  into  negotiations  with  the  king  of 
Prussia  concerning  the  testoration  of  conquests  on  the  Danube  by 
Austria  and  Russia,  for  compensation  to  be  found  at  the  expense 
of  Poland,  Prussia  to  get  Thorn  and  Danzig.  Old  Kaunitz  in- 
dignantly rejecting  these  insolent  proposals,  a  congress  met  at 
Reichenbach,  in  1790,  in  which  Prussia,  Austria,  England,  and 
Holland  were  represented.  The  congress  ended  in  the  Treaty  of 
Sistova,  by  which  Austria  surrendered  her  conquests,  retaining  only 
Orsova,  and  the  Unna  district  on  the  borders  of  Croatia,  and  agreed 
not  to  support  Russia  in  any  war  which  might  arise  between  her  and 
the  Porte.  Thus  Austria  once  more  gave  up  the  substance  for  the 
shadow ;  she  sacrificed  by  this  agreement  the  territory  which  would 
have  consolidated  her  real  frontiers,  in  order  to  preserve  the  Bel- 
gian provinces  which  were  not  only  distant  and  imruly,  but  a 
constant  temptation  to  the  greed  of  France. 

It  would  have  been  impossible  for  Austria  to  remain  indifferent 
to  the  progress  of  the  French  Revolution.  As  emperor,  Leopold  was 
under  obligation  to  defend  the  feudal  rights  of  the  German  princes 
in  Alsace,  Franche-Comte,  and  Lorraine,  which  were  suppressed 
by  the  National  Assembly,  and  as  the  brother-in-law  of  Louis 
XVI.,  he  witnessed  with  anxiety  the  progress  of  democracy  and  the 
decline  of  the  royal  authority.  In  July,  1791,  he  published  a  cir- 
cular, dated  from  Padua,  calHng  upon  all  the  sovereigns  of  Europe 
to  intervene  in  favor  of  the  king  of  France  against  his  revolted 
subjects.  A  little  later  he  issued,  with  Frederick  William  II.  of 
Prussia,  the  celebrated  Declaration  of  Pilnitz,  in  which  the  two 
sovereigns  agree  to  employ  the  most  effectual  means  "  to  place  the 
king  of  France  in  a  position  to  establish  with  absolute  freedom 
the  basis  of  a  monarchical  form  of  government,  which  shall  at  once 
maintain  the  rights  of  sovereigns  and  promote  the  welfare  of  the 
French  nation."  In  February,  1792,  Leopold  concluded  a  definite 
alliance  with  Prussia  in  regard  to  their  relations  with  France.  On 
March  i  he  died  unexpectedly,  leaving  to  his  son,  Francis  II.,  the 
inheritance  of  the  most  formidable  struggle  which  the  Austrian 
state  had  ever  had  to  maintain.  On  April  20,  1792,  France  de- 
clared war  on  "  the  king  of  Bohemia  and  Hungary." 

PART  V  ] 


AND  NAPOLEONIC  ERAS.    1792-1815  i 



Chapter  XXIII 

REVOLUTION.       1 792.1 804 

A  BRIEF  survey  of  the  Austrian  monarchy  at  the  opening 
of  the  great  European  war  in  which  she  played  so  con- 
spicuous a  part  is  essential.  "  If  we  omit  Tuscany  and 
Modena,"  says  M.  Himly,  "  territories  over  which  the  younger 
branches  of  the  house  of  Hapsburg  were  already  reigning,  or  ex- 
pecting to  reign,  the  empire  covered  an  area  of  11,600  square 
leagues  (German)  and  numbered  about  24,000,000  inhabitants. 
Geographically  they  fell  naturally  into  two  parts  of  about  equal 
extent;  that  portion  which  belonged  more  or  less  completely  to  the 
empire  had  a  population  of  over  10,500,000,  and  occupied  about 
86,000  square  miles;  the  provinces  outside  of  the  empire  had  a 
little  less  than  14,000,000,  spread  out  over  nearly  164,000  square 
miles.  Each  of  these  two  great  divisions  consisted  of  three  groups 
of  countries  which  were  themselves  historically  and  politically  dis- 
tinct. On  the  one  side  were  the  two  circles  of  Austria  and  of  Bur- 
gundy, and  the  territories  of  the  crown  of  Bohemia;  on  the  other 
the  Polish,  Hungarian,  and  Italian  possessions. 

The  kingdom  of  St.  Stephen,  that  is  to  say,  of  Hungary,  with 
the  kingdoms  of  Croatia,  Slavonia,  Hungarian  Dalmatia,  and 
Transylvania,  was  estimated  at  about  125,800  square  miles  and  at 
9,100,000  souls;  the  kingdom  of  Bohemia,  with  Moravia  and  Si- 
lesia, had  4,300,000  inhabitants  spread  over  31,000  square  miles, 
while  Galicia  and  Bukovina  had  about  3,300^000  on  about  33,200 
square  miles. 

Milan  and  Mantua,  with  the  imperial  fiefs  of  Liguria,  were 
reckoned  at  about  4700  square  miles  and  1,350,000  inhabitants,  and 
the  Austrian  Low  Countries  at  2,000,000  on  10,100  square  miles. 
A  sixth  group  comprised  the  imperial  domains,  properly  so-called 
— that  is,  the  circle  of  Austria  and  a  number  of  minor  possessions 
in  Suabia  and  the  Lower  Rhine;  together  these  measured  about 




45,000  square  miles  and  comprised  in  the  neighborhood  of  4,300,000 

In  actual  size  the  Austrian  monarchy  came  next  to  Russia 
and  France  in  1792.  It  was  somewhat  larger  than  the  present 
Austrian  empire,  but  it  was  so  scattered  as  to  be  an  easy  prey  to  an 
enemy.  Bohemia,  Galicia,  Hungary,  and  the  hereditary  states 
formed  a  compact  group,  but  the  Milanese  and  the  Mantuan  dis- 
tricts were  separated  from  it  by  Venetia.  The  Breisgau  and  Aus- 
trian Suabia  were  practically  surrounded  by  the  innumerable  states 
of  Suabia,  while  Belgium  was  entirely  isolated  from  the  other 
provinces,  and  her  people  were  eager  to  throw  off  the  foreign  yoke. 
It  was  upon  these  outlying  positions  that  the  effect  of  the  war  was 
sure  to  be  felt  first. 

The  Austrian  army  at  this  time  consisted  of  270,000  men; 
there  were  yj  regiments  of  infantry,  39  of  which  were  furnished  by 
the  German  possessions  and  by  those  Slav  lands  not  included  in  Hun- 
gary, II  by  Hungary  and  Transylvania,  5  by  the  Low  Countries, 
2  by  Italy,  and  17  by  the  rnilitary  frontiers.  Garrisons  were  sup- 
plied by  two  regiments  set  apart  for  that  purpose,  and  there  were 
two  regiments  of  artillery.  The  army  was  recruited  by  a  system 
of  conscription  established  by  Joseph  II.  in  all  his  states  except 
in  the  Tyrol,  the  Low  Countries,  and  Hungaiy.  In  the  latter 
country  the  emperor  was  offered  in  case  of  need  the  insurrection 
and  special  levies. 

The  prince  who  had  to  take  so  prominent  a  part  in  the  long 
struggle  of  this  period  had  reached  the  age  of  twenty-four  at  his 
accession.  He  had  been  brought  up  in  Tuscany  with  Leopold, 
and  had  later  lived  at  the  court  of  Joseph  II.,  who  did  his  utmost 
to  inculcate  his  own  ideas  of  reform  into  him.  During  the  short 
reig^  of  Leopold  II.  he  had  seen  how  good  sense  and  patriotic 
feeling  had  reacted  against  the  excesses  of  Josephinism,  and  a 
peaceful  reign  would  perhaps  have  given  him  the  opportunity 
of  displaying  those  worthy  bourgeois  characteristics  with  which 
nature  had  endowed  him.  But  in  the  prolonged  struggle  against 
the  Revolution  he  became  gradually  gloomy  and  despotic. 

When  the  war  broke  out  Francis  II.  had  been  crowned  at 
Buda  and  at  Prague,  but  he  had  not  yet  been  elected  emperor. 
Accordingly  the  French  declared  war  against  the  king  of  Bohemia 
and  Hungary.  They  first  invaded  Belgium,  and  after  the  battle  of 
Jemmappes  on  November  6,  1792,  the  Austrian  Low  Countries  as 




far  as  Luxemberg-  fell  into  their  hands.  In  the  following  spring 
the  Austrian  victory  at  Neerwinden  opened  France  to  the  im- 
perialists for  a  short  time.  But  Austria's  ally,  Prussia,  gave  but 
a  lukewarm  support,  for  she  was  more  interested  in  the  second 
partition  of  Poland  in  1793,  and  in  which  Austria  failed  to  share 
because  of  the  war  with  the  French  republic.  Finally,  in  June  of 
1794,  as  a  result  of  the  battle  of  Fleurus  the  Netherlands  were 
definitely  lost  to  Austria. 

The  execution  of  Louis  XVI.  was  an  act  of  defiance  to  the 
kings  of  Europe,  and  the  execution  of  Marie  Antoinette  a  challenge 

I  rortioa  acquired  bg  RusstS 
■Dd    -  •        •  Prussia 

■a     "  •        •  Austria 


to  the  house  of  Austria  in  particular.  But  Francis  II.  was  neither 
able  to  rescue  nor  avenge  the  unfortunate  sister  of  his  father.  For 
in  1795  his  ally,  the  king  of  Prussia,  signed  the  Treaty  of  Paris 
with  the  French,  and  withdrew  from  the  war,  and  he  was  reduced 
to  seek  compensation  for  the  loss  of  the  Low  Countries  in  what 
remained  of  unhappy  Poland.  With  Prussia  and  Russia  the  third 
partition  was  agreed  upon,  and  Austria  secured  the  palatinates  of 
Sandomir  and  Lublin,  together  with  some  portions  of  Cracow, 
Masovia,  Podlachia,  and  Brest,  as  far  as  the  junction  of  the 
Bug  with  the  Vistula.  This  territory  was  given  the  official  name 
of  Western  Galicia.     The  reasons  given  for  this  new  desmem- 



berment  of  Poland  were  poor  enough,  Poland,  it  was  urged, 
had  become  the  seat  of  anarchical  and  revolutionary  ideas  which 
threatened  to  become  dangerous  to  the  adjacent  countries,  and 
since  Austria  could  not  prevent  the  seizure  of  Polish  territory  by 
the  other  two  great  neighboring  powers,  it  became  her  duty  to 
look  after  her  own  interests.  No  pretended  historical  right  was 
invoked,  as  in  the  first  partition,  and  expediency  alone  was  urged 
in  extenuation  of  this  inglorious  conquest.  By  this  partition  Aus- 
tria acquired  about  1,100,000  inhabitants  and  1800  square  miles 
of  territory. 

In  the  south  Francis  II.  was  no  more  fortunate  than  in  Bel- 
gium. The  victories  of  Bonaparte  at  Montenotte  and  Millesimo,  in 
April,  1796,  resulted  in  the  conquest  of  Lombardy  and  its  prompt 
reorganization  into  the  Cisalpine  republic,  Bonaparte  proclaiming 
to  the  Italians  that  he  was  waging  war  only  against  "  the  tyrant 
who  tried  to  enslave  them."  Who  would  have  said  then  that  the 
greatest  tyrant  of  them  all  was  the  future  father-in-law  of 
Napoleon  himself?  The  troops  of  Francis  made  heroic  efforts 
to  resist  the  victorious  march  of  the  armies  of  France,  but  without 
avail.  His  commander,  Wurmser,  was  defeated  and  forced  to  shut 
himself  up  in  Mantua,  and  after  the  defeat  of  the  Hungarian 
Alvinzy  at  Areola  and  Rivoli,  he  was  forced  to  capitulate,  in  Feb- 
ruary, 1797.  The  road  to  Vienna  lay  open.  Just  at  this  moment 
the  aristocratic  republic  of  Venice,  believing  that  it  could  save  its 
independence  and  guarantee  itself  against  the  invasion  of  revolu- 
tionary ideas,  signed  a  treaty  with  Austria,  and  attacked  the 
French.  This  imprudence  cost  her  not  only  her  liberty,  but  reduced 
her  to  a  servitude  which  formed  one  of  the  saddest  episodes  of  the 
history  of  the  next  century. 

After  the  capitulation  of  Mantua,  Francis,  realizing  that  his 
southern  territories  were  in  danger  of  being  overrun  by  the  French, 
suddenly  recalled  from  the  army  of  the  Rhine  the  ablest  of  his 
generals,  the  Archduke  Charles,  to  oppose  the  victorious  French. 
In  the  Tyrol  and  in  Bohemia  levies  en  masse  were  ordered,  and  the 
insurrection  was  voted  by  Hungary.  The  archduke  did  all  in  his 
power  to  reorganize  the  Austrian  army,  and  took  up  a  position 
behind  the  Tagliamento  in  order  to  defend  Triest,  but  Massena  had 
obtained  possession  of  the  Col  de  Tarvis,  over  which  the  main 
road  from  Verona  to  Venice  passes.  This  gave  him  the  key  to 
the  passage  of  the  Alps,  and  Vienna  was  in  great  danger.     But 

FRANCIS     II  «8S 


the  patriotism  of  the  luxurious  city  rose  to  the  occasion.  The 
entire  population  took  up  arms,  the  fortifications  were  repaired,  and 
the  war,  which  had  at  first  been  only  one  of  cabinets  and  of  princi- 
pals, became,  with  the  approach  of  the  enemy,  a  national  struggle. 
Evidently  it  would  be  dangerous  for  Napoleon  to  venture  into  a 
country  so  deeply  aroused,  without  having  effected  a  junction  with 
the  armies  on  the  Rhine.  He  opened  negotiations,  and  an  armis- 
tice was  agreed  upon,  followed  by  preliminaries  of  peace,  in  which 
Austria  ceded  to  France  Belgium  and  her  Italian  possessions  on 
the  right  bank  of  the  Oglio,  and  received  in  exchange  a  part  of 
the  Venetian  possessions  situated  on  the  Adriatic.  Venice  obtained 
Romagna,  Bologna,  and  'Ferrara  as  compensation. 

It  was  while  these  negotiations  were  being  conducted  that  the 
anti-French  feeling  broke  out  in  the  republic  of  Venice.  At  the 
news  of  Ics  Paqiies  Veronaises  the  French  troops  again  invaded 
Venetia  and  besieged  the  city  of  the  doges,  which  dared  not,  or 
knew  not  how,  to  defend  itself,  even  though  protected  by  the  sea, 
against  generals  who  had  not  a  single  vessel  at  their  disposal.  In 
May  Venice  was  occupied  by  the  French,  and  a  tree  of  liberty  was 
planted.  A  few  months  later,  in  November,  1797,  definitive  peace 
was  signed  at  Campo  Formio.  Austria  renewed  her  concessions 
and  recognized  the  Cisalpine  republic.  France  retained  the  Ionian 
Islands  and  the  Venetian  possessions  in  Albania,  Austria  receiving 
as  compensation  the  territories  of  Venice  and  her  territory  as 
far  as  the  Adige.  The  duke  of  Modena,  who  had  been  dispossessed, 
was  to  be  indemnified  for  the  loss  of  his  duchy  by  the  cession  of  the 
Breisgau,  which  Francis  II.  gave  up  to  him.  In  the  secret  articles 
of  this  treaty  the  emperor  engaged  himself  to  help  France  in  the 
acquisition  of  the  left  bank  of  the  Rhine,  demanding  in  exchange 
the  latter's  good  offices  in  the  acquisition  of  Salzburg  and  that 
part  of  Bavaria  situated  between  the  Inn  and  the  Salza,  which 
intercepted  the  communication  with  Tyrol.  One  of  the  con- 
sequences of  this  treaty  was  the  setting  at  liberty  of  Lafayette,  who 
had  been  a  prisoner  at  Olmiitz  since  1792. 

On  the  whole  Austria  came  out  of  this  war  very  fortunately, 
considering  her  defeats.  She  had  held  her  own  against  France 
even  after  Prussia  had  withdrawn  from  the  struggle;  she  was  less 
weakened  by  the  loss  of  the  Low  Countries  than  strengthened  by 
the  acquisition  of  Venice  and  Dalmatia.  Her  new  territories  con- 
tained 16,625  square  miles  and  about  3,000,000  inhabitants,  and 



although  the  French,  before  evacuating  Venice,  had  destroyed  the 
fleet  of  the  republic,  the  maritime  importance  of  the  new  acquisition 
was  very  great.  The  Adriatic  became  almost  wholly  an  Austrian 
sea,  and  the  Dalmatians  were  skilled  mariners  and  brave  soldiers. 
This  province,  which  had  formerly  been  so  much  coveted  by  the 
kings  of  Hungary,  now  fell  to  the  Hapsburgs  without  their  having 
struck  a  blow  for  its  conquest.  From  this  time  forward  it 
shared  the  fate  of  Austria.  It  had  been  a  Roman  province,  colon- 
ized by  the  Slavs,  and  formed  a  part  of  the  kingdom  of  Croatia. 
In  the  tenth  century  the  Venetians  began  its  conquest,  which  was  not 
completed  until  the  end  of  the  fifteenth,  and  even  then  the  interior 
of  Dalmatia  continued  a  part  of  Croatia  *till  it  fell  into  the  hands 
of  the  Turks,  Thanks  to  Venetian  colonization,  the  Slav  towns 
took  on  a  distinctly  Italian  character,  which  they  retain  even  to-day. 
The  government  was  exclusively  in  the  hands  of  the  Venetians  and 
the  native  population  was:  both  pillaged  and  persecuted.  A  decree 
of  the  republic  forbade  the  marriage  of  Venetians  with  Slav  women. 

The  administration  of  the  province  had  been  intrusted  to  a 
proveditore,  who  was  always  a  Venetian  senator,  and  who  held 
office  for  three  years.  The  civil,  judicial,  and  military  power  was 
exercised  by  him,  and  he  resided  at  Zara.  The  country  was  di- 
vided into  twenty-two  circles,  all  governed  by  Venetian  nobles, 
whose  administration  was  both  servile  and  corrupt.  The  army 
was  composed  of  natives,  but  all  the  officers  were  Venetians.  Lit- 
tle was  done  for  public  instruction;  Venice  was  not  anxious  to 
develop  an  independent  civilization,  and  directed  her  efforts  rather 
toward  Italianizing  her  Slav  subjects.  Nevertheless,  in  spite  of  this 
Italian  influence,  a  national  literature  struggled  into  existence, 
though  it  found  a  real  home  only  in  Ragusa,  which  continued 
throughout  to  maintain  a  position  of  independence  owing  to  the 
protection  of  the  Porte. 

The  Treaty  of  Campo  Formio  did  not  end  the  work  of  Aus- 
trian diplomacy.  She  sent  three  representatives  to  the  congress  of 
Rastadt,  where  the  affairs  of  Germany  were  still  to  be  arranged. 
After  the  congress,  which  closed  in  April,  1799,  two  of  the  French 
representatives  were  murdered  by  Austrian  hussars,  and  this 
made  war  almost  inevitable.  Another  circumstance  which  compli- 
cated the  situation  and  estranged  the  two  countries  was  the 
fact  that  Bemadotte,  the  French  ambassador  in  Vienna,  as- 
sumed  an   attitude   altogether   unlikely    to   conciliate   a   popula- 



tion  irritated  by  recent  defeats.  He  even  presumed  to  attempt  to 
prevent  the  celebration  of  a  military  fete  in  the  capital,  and  caused 
the  tricolor  flag  to  be  displayed  from  the  balcony  of  his  hotel,  the 
flag  of  that  revolution  which  had  beheaded  Marie  Antoinette.  It 
was  torn  down  by  an  enraged  populace,  and  Bernadotte  demanded 
his  passports.  The  French  asked  for  an  apology,  which  Austria 
refused,  and  it  became  apparent  that  a  new  conflict  was  imminent. 
In  March,  1799,  the  Directory  declared  war.  Cobenzl,  who  had 
just  succeeded  Thugut  as  minister  of  foreign  affairs,  bent  every 
energy  to  obtain  allies.  The  second  coalition  was  formed  with 
Russia,  England,  Portugal,  Naples,  Turkey,  and  Austria  all  in 
league  against  France.  The  struggle  began  simultaneously  in 
southern  Germany,  Switzerland,  and  Italy.  The  coalition  had 
brought  together  a  large  force  of  men.  The  victories  of  Archduke 
Charles  and  Melas,  which  continued  after  the  assumption  of  the 
supreme  command  by  the  Russian  general,  Suvarov,  need  not  be 
related.  The  return  of  Napoleon  to  Italy  brought  victory  again  to 
the  standard  of  France.  Marengo  stopped  the  onward  march  of 
Melas,  in  June,  1800,  and  after  the  capitulation  of  Alessandria  he 
was  forced  to  fall  back  upon  the  Mincio.  In  western  Germany 
Moreau  was  also  successful  against  his  adversary  Kray,  and  Aus- 
tria, worn  out  by  the  useless  struggle,  consented  to  peace.  But 
her  allies  urged  her  to  continue  the  struggle.  The  defeated  gen- 
erals were  relieved  of  their  command  and  others  appointed,  but 
the  victories  of  the  French  continued.  At  Hohenlinden,  in  Decem- 
ber, 1800,  they  were  entirely  victorious,  and  another  cruel  blow 
was  struck  to  the  Austrian  arms.  The  Archduke  Charles,  who 
had  been  in  retirement  since  his  victories  of  the  previous  year,  again 
assumed  command  to  save  the  Austrian  cause.  But  he  found  only 
the  ruins  of  the  army  which  he  had  recently  led  to  victory.  The 
French  were  marching  on  Vienna,  and  it  was  necessary  to  yield. 
On  December  25  an  armistice  was  concluded,  tracing  a  line  of  de- 
markation.  Cobenzl  went  to  Luneville,  where  he  negotiated  the 
terms  of  peace  with  Joseph  Bonaparte. 

The  terms  of  the  Peace  of  Luneville  were  very  like  those  of 
the  Treaty  of  Campo  Formio.  Francis  II.  consented  to  recognize 
the  Batavian,  Helvetian,  Cisalpine  and  Ligurian  republics,  and  the 
surrender  to  France  of  the  ancient  Hapsburg  possessions  on  the  left 
bank  of  the  Rhine,  along  with  other  minor  territories.  The  Arch- 
duke Ferdinand  II.  exchanged  Tuscany  for  the  new  electorate  of 



Salzburg,  the  formation  of  which  cost  the  dynasty  of  Hapsburg 
nearly  a  million  people. 

Nor  had  Francis  II.  succeeded  in  guaranteeing  the  integrity 
of  Germany.  France  held  the  left  bank  of  the  Rhine,  and  the  dis- 
possessed princes  turned  toward  Paris  to  urge  their  claims  for 
indemnity.  By  the  secularization  of  ecclesiastical  states  the  clerical 
princes  who  had  been  the  most  faithful  supporters  of  the  Haps- 
burg  dynasty  had  disappeared. 

Perhaps  the  most  important  result  of  this  extended  struggle 
is  the  fact  that  it  gave  rise  among  the  peoples  of  Austria,  and 
especially  in  her  army,  to  a  real  feeling  for  the  unity  of  the  mon- 
archy. Her  soldiers,  drawn  from  so  many  different  nations,  had 
fought  side  by  side  for  ten  years,  and  a  feeling  of  brotherhood  was 
naturally  engendered.  Corps  of  officers  grew  up  embodying  in  their 
organization  the  idea  of  one  fatherland.  In  1848  a  Viennese  poet 
wrote  to  Radetzky,  "  It  is  in  the  camps  of  your  army  that  Austria 
is  to  be  found."  Even  in  1800  this  was  practically  true.  As  a 
matter  of  fact  the  Austrian  monarchy  was  essentially  a  military  one. 
It  was  the  army  which  held  the  various  parts  of  this  bizarre  state 

In  the  struggle  against  the  French  Revolution  the  nobility  of 
the  different  provinces  vied  with  each  other  in  their  enthusiasm; 
Hungary  twice  voted  the  insurrection.  In  1796  and  1797  the 
Tyrolese  and  the  inhabitants  of  Lower  Austria  took  up  arms  en 
masse.  In  Bohemia  the  militia  of  the  country  was  organized  in 
1796,  and  Moravia  and  Silesia  raised  a  corps  of  chasseurs  in  1800. 
During  a  visit  of  the  Archduke  Charles  in  Bohemia  a  special 
legion  was  raised  as  a  consequence  of  the  enthusiasm  he  inspired. 

The  direction  of  military  affairs  continued  in  the  hands  of  the 
Council  of  War  (hofkriegsrath).  It  consisted  partly  of  officers 
and  partly  of  civilians,  and  sat  at  Vienna,  but  despite  the  zeal  of  its 
members  it  rendered  very  mediocre  services.  It  wished  to  conduct 
military  operations  from  a  government  office.  In  the  campaign  of 
1799  Suvarov  declined  to  communicate  his  plans  to  it.  In  1801 
the  emperor  made  the  Archduke  Charles  its  president,  and  the 
year  following  the  unlimited  military  service  was  reduced  to  four- 
teen years. 

The  direction  of  foreign  affairs  during  almost  all  of  this 
stormy  period  was  in  the  hands  of  the  famous  Thugut.  Kaunitz, 
who  had  conducted  the  affairs  of  the  foreign  chancery  for  three 

FRANCIS    II  287 


reigns,  and  who  had  the  satisfaction  of  effecting  a  reconciliation 
between  the  two  hostile  courts  of  Versailles  and  Vienna,  had  retired 
in  1796.  Thugut,  who  had  had  an  extended  career  in  the  foreign 
service,  especially  in  connection  with  the  early  years  of  the  French 
Revolution,  was  throughout  a  bitter  opponent  of  the  French  re- 
public, and  his  dismissal  was  one  of  the  conditions  insisted  upon 
by  France  in  the  secret  clauses  of  the  Treaty  of  Campo  Formio. 
In  1800  he,  too,  retired  to  private  life.  He  was  succeeded  by 
Joseph  Cobenzl,  who  had  filled  the  post  of  Austrian  ambassador  at 
Berlin  and  St.  Petersburg,  and  by  his  clever  diplomacy  had  suc- 
ceeded in  keeping  up  the  most  cordial  relations  between  Austria 
and  Russia  for  sixteen  years.  After  bringing  about  the  Peace  of 
Luneville  he  continued  at  the  head  of  foreign  affairs  till  1805, 
conducting  the  affairs  of  his  office  like  a  clever  courtier  rather 
than  a  great  statesman. 

At  home  the  struggle  between  the  partisans  and  opponents  of 
Josephinism  still  continued,  but  the  foreign  wars  diverted  atten- 
tion from  the  ideas  of  reform.  A  special  ministry  for  finance  for 
Galicia  and  a  new  commission  of  public  instruction  had  been  ap- 
pointed, but  no  general  plan  of  reform  was  adopted.  We  may 
judge  of  the  general  confusion  existing  at  this  time  from  an  extract 
from  a  memorandum  addressed  to  the  emperor  by  Count  Chotek: 
"  The  reign  of  your  majesty,"  he  says,  "  is  marked  by  a  series  of 
mutations;  a  special  department  (hofstelle)  has  been  made  of  the 
police;  the  chamber  of  accounts  established  in  1761  has  been  dis- 
solved ;  the  old  distinction  between  the  different  nationalities  has 
again  been  recognized,  and  expediency  has  been  allowed,  first  to 
direct  politics,  then  to  control  the  state.  A  new  commission  of  in- 
struction has  been  created,  and  the  two  legislative  commissions 
which  formerly  existed  have  been  made  into  one,  besides  many 
other  changes  which  have  been  made  since  the  Treaty  of  Campo 
Formio.  The  management  of  the  finances  has  been  taken  from 
the  control  of  the  united  Hofstelle,  and  Count  Saurau  has  been 
appointed  president  of  the  court  chamber  and  minister  of 
finance.  The  supreme  control  of  justice  has  been  vested  in  the 
Austro-Bohemian  chancery,  and  a  special  department  created  for 
Galicia,  which  controls  both  judicial  and  political  matters.  These 
two  changes  evidently  defeat  their  object;  on  the  one  hand  two 
new  departments  are  created  for  provinces  whose  constitution  is 
the  same,  on  the  other  a  minister  is  overburdened  with  duties 



absolutely  heterogeneous.  In  1801,  after  Count  Saurau  was  ap- 
pointed to  a  new  office,  a  ministry  or  board  of  control  for  the 
bank  and  a  secret  board  of  credit  were  created,  and  the  finances 
once  more  joined  to  the  department  of  political  affairs.  There 
was  only  one  minister  for  the  two  departments  of  justice  and 
political  matters.  As  head  of  the  ministry  he  had  control  of  justice, 
and  in  his  capacity  as  minister  controlled  the  finances,  an  amount 
of  work  beyond  the  capacity  of  any  man.  And  this  system  of  ad- 
ministering the  finances  was  adopted  at  the  very  moment  when  their 
precarious  condition  demanded  central  and  united  control. 

"  As  soon  as  peace  was  restored,"  continues  Chotek,  "  the 
emperor  tried  to  establish  a  more  permanent  organization.  He 
instituted  a  central  bureau  {Conferenzministerium),  in  which  all 
the  branches  of  the  administration  should  meet,  and  from  that  time 
onward  the  home,  foreign,  and  military  affairs  of  the  monarchy 
have  been  under  a  common  direction.  ...  In  civil  matters 
it  was  necessary  to  make  the  entire  country  immediately  dependent 
upon  one  minister.  It  was  necessary  to  determine  the  power  of 
each  official,  from  the  village  magistrate  to  the  minister,  in  such 
a  way  that  it  would  be  impossible  for  any  one  of  them  to  go 
beyond  the  limits  of  his  authority,  and  that  each  should  know 
precisely  over  what  matters  he  had  jurisdiction,  and  what  must 
be  referred  to  the  higher  officials,  so  that  in  the  end  the  emperor 
should  always  be  in  a  position  to  obtain  complete  knowledge  on 
important  matters  without  being  troubled  with  useless  details. 
But  this  result  has  not  been  attained.  The  internal  adminis- 
tration has  been  badly  organized.  Matters  of  small  importance 
are  continually  brought  to  the  attention  of  the  emperor  and  the 
conference.  The  proposals  that  have  been  made  have  gone  no  fur- 
ther than  fragmentary  attempts  at  legislature  and  temporary  meas- 
ures concerning  the  finances  and  other  matters.  No  attempt  has 
been  made  to  organize  the  departments;  to  study  the  wants  of  the 
estates  as  a  whole,  or  the  means  of  satisfying  those  wants;  to 
improve  the  condition  of  the  country  by  trade  and  commerce,  or 
to  found  really  useful  schools.  In  these  matters  there  has  been 
none  of  that  unity  of  action  for  which  the  Conferenzministerium 
was  created."  What  Count  Chotek  asked  for,  since  popular  par- 
liamentary government  was  not  to  be  had,  was  a  council  of  min- 
isters similar  to  that  now  existing  in  all  European  countries.  But 
the  times  were  too  troublesome  for  these  reforms. 



Eight  years  of  war  could  not  fail  to  exhaust  the  finances  of  the 
empire,  considering  the  poverty  of  Austria-Hungary  at  that  time. 
The  emperor  mortgaged  his  private  estates  in  order  to  obtain 
money;  provinces  and  corporations,  and  even  private  persons,  vied 
with  each  other  in  their  zeal  and  their  sacrifices.  All  sorts  of  ex- 
pedients were  resorted  to;  the  amount  of  paper  money  was  in- 
creased, forced  loans  were  raised^  the  duties  on  merchandise  were 
maintained  at  a  percentage  which  was  absolutely  intolerable  to 
trade,  and  the  protective  system  continued  in  full  force  with  all  its 
abuses.  Internal  freedom  of  trade,  which  Joseph  II.  had  intro- 
duced, was  destroyed,  and  a  line  of  custom-houses  was  once  more 
established  between  Hungary  and  the  rest  of  the  Austrian 

The  construction  of  roads  was  pushed  on  with  great  activity, 
especially  in  Carniola,  Croatia,  Bohemia,  and  Moravia,  and  a  canal 
was  made  between  the  Danube  and  the  Theiss.  The  emperor  was 
proud  of  his  fondness  for  agriculture,  and  founded  several  special 
schools  for  its  study.  He  took  great  pains  to  develop  the  rural 
economy  of  Galicia,  where,  it  must  be  owned,  Polish  neglect  had 
left  much  to  be  done.  In  1799  serfdom  was  abolished,  and  grad- 
ually some  degree  of  order  was  introduced  into  that  province. 
Many  charitable  institutions  were  founded  in  this  reign. 

The  work  of  codification,  which  had  been  begun  in  the  reign 
of  Maria  Theresa,  was  continued  and  additional  volumes  of  the 
code  were  published.  Unfortunately,  Francis  11.  did  nothing  for 
public  instruction ;  he  had  neither  the  time  nor  the  wish  to  do  so. 
The  dread  lest  the  ideas  of  the  French  Revolution  should  make 
their  way  into  Austria  led  him  to  apply  to  freedom  of  thought  a 
prohibitive  system  even  more  strict  than  that  which  weighed  so 
heavily  on  trade.  The  censorship  of  the  press  was  taken  out  of  the 
hands  of  the  professors  to  be  placed  in  those  of  the  police,  and  a 
tax  on  printed  matter  was  introduced.  In  many  ways  the  reign  of 
Francis  II.  was  the  opposite  of  that  of  Joseph  II.  In  his  horror 
of  liberal  ideas,  Francis  believed  that  he  could  not  combat  them 
better  than  by  strengthening  religious  institutions  and  by  increas- 
ing the  influence  of  the  clergy.  Nevertheless  he  maintained  the 
laws  providing  for  religious  toleration.  A  commission  was  ap- 
pointed in  1795  to  inquire  into  the  condition  of  education,  but  the 
alterations  proposed  by  it  were  not  very  liberal  in  spirit  and  based 
solely  on  the  principle  of  expediency. 

Chapter  XXIV 

NAPOLEON.     1804-1815 

AFTER  the  Peace  of  Luneville  the  house  of  Hapsburg- 
Lorraine  was  bereft  of  all  its  German  possessions  except 
L  the  archduchy  of  Austria,  and  the  authority  of  the  emperor 
in  the  German  states  existed  only  in  theory.  It  possessed  no  other 
power  save  that  derived  from  its  own  dominions.  These  were  hence- 
forth divided  into  five  groups,  the  hereditary  provinces,  the  king- 
dom of  Bohemia,  the  kingdom  of  Hungary,  Galicia,  and  Venetia. 
The  first  three  belonged  to  the  emperor  by  hereditary  right  or  by 
contract  mutually  agreed  to;  the  last  two  had  been  recently  con- 
quered, and  were  retained  by  force.  It  was  therefore  only  natural 
that  the  old  titles  of  archduke  of  Austria,  of  king  of  Bohemia  and 
of  Hungary,  should  be  insufficient  for  the  owner  of  so  many  pos- 
sessions, and  Francis  II.  desired  to  adopt  a  title  that  would  both 
impress  Europe  and  be  at  the  same  time  more  in  accord  with  the 
actual  facts.  The  Hapsburgs  had  long  been  known  as  the  house 
of  Austria,  and  their  territory,  although  far  from  being  homo- 
geneous, had  been  definitely  grouped  around  the  dynasty  by  the 
Pragmatic  Sanction.  The  Magyars  had  accepted  the  principle  of 
hereditary  succession  and  Bohemia,  exhausted  by  long  struggle, 
seemed  pacified. 

Accordingly  after  the  establishment  of  the  imperial  dignity  in 
France  by  Napoleon,  Francis  II.  decided  to  adopt  the  title  of  Em- 
peror of  Austria.  A  letter  to  the  people  announced  his  decision 
in  the  following  paragraph : 

"  Although  we  have  been  by  the  grace  of  God  and  the  choice 
of  the  electors  of  the  Romano-German  empire  raised  to  such  a  de- 
gree of  splendor  as  leaves  us  no  title  to  desire,  nevertheless  our 
solicitude  as  ruler  of  the  house  of  Austria  induces  us  to  strive  for 
the  maintenance  of  complete  equality  between  our  imperial  title 
and  hereditary  dignity  and  those  of  the  other  sovereigns  and 
most  illustrious  powers  of  Europe,  in  a  manner  befitting  the  ancient 


FRANCIS    II  «91 


splendor  of  our  house  and  the  greatness  and  independence  of  our 
dominions.  Therefore  we  claim  for  the  house  of  Austria,  after 
the  example  of  the  imperial  court  of  Russia  in  the  last  century, 
and  of  the  new  sovereign  of  France,  an  hereditary  imperial  title 
for  its  own  states.  And  we  have  determined,  after  mature  de- 
liberation, to  take  solemnly  for  ourselves  and  our  successors  for  all 
our  kingdoms  and  lands  the  hereditary  title  of  emperor  of  Austria, 
after  the  name  of  our  house.  At  the  same  time  we  declare  that 
each  of  our  kingdoms,  principalities,  and  provinces  shall  neverthe- 
less preserve  its  title,  constitution,  and  privileges." 

This  measure  was  the  reward  of  long,  patient  work  on  the 
part  of  the  house  of  Austria,  but  in  reality  it  made  no  change  in 
the  condition  of  any  of  the  provinces.  Even  Francis  II.,  and  his 
successor,  Ferdinand  IV.,  were  still  crowned  kings  of  Bohemia  and 
Hungary,  and  renewed  the  engagements  to  these  countries,  while 
no  Austrian  sovereign  has  ever  been  crowned  emperor  of  Austria. 

By  the  foreign  courts  the  new  title  was  recognized  without 
demur.  Francis  II.  made  no  attempt  to  break  the  ties  which  bound 
some  of  his  states  to  Germany ;  indeed,  he  solemnly  declared  to  the 
German  diet  that  he  would  not  do  so.  Nor  did  the  assumption  of 
the  new  imperial  title  make  any  great  impression  on  the  people, 
who  had  been  accustomed  to  seeing  the  title  of  emperor  joined  to 
that  of  king  on  all  public  documents.  Nevertheless,  by  thus  de- 
claring the  historical  unity  of  the  Austrian  realms,  Francis  added 
to  the  Pragmatic  Sanction  a  corollary  that  Charles  VI.  would  not 
have  ventured  to  add  in  the  eighteenth  century. 

At  the  time  of  his  assumption  of  the  imperial  title  Francis  II. 
was  thirty-six  years  old,  but  events  had  aged  him  before  his  time; 
he  had  become  timid  and  suspicious.  Among  the  sciences  he  un- 
derstood only  natural  science,  and  of  the  arts  only  music,  the  one 
great  art  that  has  really  flourished  in  Austria.  The  philosophical 
ideas  of  the  eighteenth  century  were  unknown  to  him.  His  main 
strength  lay  in  that  persistent  patience  which  is  regarded  as  the 
chief  characteristic  of  the  Hapsburgs.  He  affected  that  patriar- 
chal mode  of  life  and  popularity  not  infrequently  combined  with 
ideas  of  absolutism  and  love  of  tyrannical  power.  He  wished  to 
be  the  father  of  his  people,  but  a  father  who  would  not  willingly 
allow  his  children  to  reason  for  themselves.  He  meant  to  exercise 
unlimited  power,  and  the  great  trials  he  met  with  only  served  to 
confirm  him  in  his  ideas  of  absolutism.     He  took  for  his  motto 



the  words  "  fustitia  rcgnorum  fundamentum,"  but  he  explained  its 
meaning  after  his  own  fashion.  The  only  power  in  the  state  out- 
side of  the  emperor  was  that  bureaucracy  which  had  been  made 
the  motive  power  of  all  government  by  Joseph  II.  The  Hun- 
garians retained  their  independence,  but  Bohemia  had  not  yet 
awakened,  and  the  Austrians  prided  themselves  on  seeing  abso- 
lutism incarnate  in  their  emperor.  "  Es  giebt  nur  ein  Kaiserstadt, 
es  giebt  nur  ein  Wien"  "  There  is  only  one  imperial  city,  there  is 
only  one  Vienna."  This  popular  saying  flattered  the  self-love  of 
the  Viennese  just  as  their  music  lulled  their  indolent  minds  to  sleep. 

From  1 80 1  to  1805  foreign  affairs  were  conducted  by  the 
vice  chancellor,  Louis  Cobenzl.  He  was,  as  we  have  seen,  a  poli- 
tician of  the  old  school,  tricky  and  courteous,  but  by  no  means  so 
able  as  the  young  ambassadors  Stahrenberg,  Mettemich,  and 
Stadion,  who  served  under  him.  After  1803  he  secured  the  serv- 
ices of  Frederick  Gentz,  the  ablest  political  writer  of  Germany,  and 
one  of  the  most  formidable  antagonists  of  German  unity.  Gentz 
was  a  Silesian,  bom  after  the  conquest  of  that  province  by  Prussia, 
and  had  studied  at  the  University  of  Konigsberg.  Owing  to  the 
miserable  state  of  public  education  and  the  antagonism  of  her 
various  nationalities,  Austria  could  rarely  find  the  men  she  needed 
among  her  own  subjects,  and  was  forced  to  seek  them  abroad — a 
curious  phenomenon,  seen  even  in  our  own  day,  when  Count  Beust 
was  called  from  Dresden  to  reconstruct  the  empire  after  Sadowa. 
The  ministry  of  Cobenzl  contained  no  men  of  mark,  save  perhaps 
the  Archduke  Charles.  After  1 801  he  was  field  marshal  and  presi- 
dent of  the  council  of  war.  He  had  introduced  many  reforms  and 
enjoyed  a  widespread  popularity  throughout  Austria,  being  the 
only  general  who  could  oppose  Napoleon  with  any  chance  of 

The  relations  between  Austria  and  France  since  1801,  in  ap- 
pearance at  least,  had  become  quite  cordial.  The  Austrian  am- 
bassador at  Paris  showed  marked  attentions  to  the  new  emperor, 
and  at  Vienna  a  saying  of  Cobenzl's  was  frequently  heard,  "  The 
monarchs  of  Europe  have  a  colleague  in  Napoleon  for  whom  they 
need  not  blush."  In  reality,  however,  the  heir  of  the  revolution 
could  not  be  other  than  the  enemy  of  Austria,  and  Bonaparte  in- 
spired in  the  court  and  the  nobility  a  hatred  which  could  only 
result  in  renewed  hostilities.  Hence  England  and  Russia  had  no 
difficulty  in  drawing  Austria  into  a  new  alliance  for  the  purpose  of 

FRANCIS     II  «9S 


curbing  the  aggression  of  France.  In  case  of  success  she  was  to 
receive  an  extension  of  frontier  to  the  Po  and  the  Adda,  Salzburg, 
and  the  reestabhshment  of  the  secundo  genitur  in  Tuscany,  while 
England  promised  to  pay  one  million,  two  hundred  and  fifty  thou- 
sand pounds  sterling  for  every  hundred  thousand  men  Austria  would 
place  under  arms.  On  these  conditions  Austria  furnished  three 
hundred  and  thirty-five  thousand  men.  The  Archduke  Charles 
opposed  the  idea  of  fighting  Napoleon,  intoxicated  by  his  recent 
successes,  and  resigned  his  presidency  of  the  council  of  war. 

The  plan  of  campaign  involved  the  simultaneous  attack  of  the 
French  by  three  armies,  one  in  Italy,  one  in  the  Tyrol,  and  one  in 
Bavaria.  The  war  was  popular  in  Vienna.  "  It  is  touching," 
writes  Gentz,  "  to  see  the  good  feeling  which  animates  the 
entire  country;  this  time  our  cause  is  so  just,  so  holy,  that  no  one 
dares  murmur;  all  feel  that  the  present  situation  cannot  last."  The 
Archduke  Charles  took  command  of  the  army  of  Italy,  the  Arch- 
duke John  that  of  the  Tyrol,  while  the  emperor  in  person  con> 
manded  the  army  of  Grermany,  leaving  its  direction  to  General  Mack. 
The  latter's  disastrous  capitulation  to  Napoleon  at  Ulm  on  October 
17,  1805,  with  his  entire  army,  is  well  known.  It  was  a  terrible 
blow  for  Austria.  Summoned  before  a  council  of  war,  Mack  was 
relieved  of  his  command  and  condemned  to  ten  years'  imprison- 
ment. "  The  blow  which  has  overwhelmed  us,"  writes  Gentz,  "  is 
one  of  those  which  crushes  heart  and  mind."  The  emperor  tried 
hard  to  keep  up  courage.  In  a  manifesto  of  October  28  he  said: 
"  The  Austrian  monarchy  has  always  risen  triumphant  from  every 
misfortune  that  has  befallen  it  in  times  past.  Its  strength  is  still 
unconquered,  and  in  the  hearts  of  the  brave  men  for  whom  I  fight 
the  old  spirit  of  patriotism  still  lives."  Negotiations  were  entered 
into  with  Prussia  in  the  hope  of  gaining  her  mediation,  and  perhaps 
her  assistance,  but  other  reverses  still  awaited  Austria.  In  Italy  the 
Archduke  Charles  had  accepted  the  command  of  the  troops  who 
were  to  oppose  the  army  of  Massena,  and,  although  successful,  the 
capitulation  of  Mack  necessitated  his  recall  to  help  the  threatened 
German  provinces.  With  24,000  troops  he  pushed  northward  into 
Hungary  by  way  of  Styria,  abandoning  the  Tyrol  to  Ney. 

In  the  meantime  the  French  had  occupied  Vienna,  having 
entered  it  on  November  13.  Napoleon  took  up  his  headquarters  at 
Schonbrunn,  where  he  received  the  deputation  from  the  capital, 
which  begged  him  to  spare  their  city  and  presented  him  with  a  serv- 



ice  of  plate,  an  act  of  servility  that  did  not  save  them  from  a  heavy 
fine  and  the  usual  requisitions  of  war.  It  was  the  first  time  since 
the  days  of  Mathias  Corvinus  that  a  conqueror  had  entered  Vienna. 
Meanwhile  the  emperor  of  Austria  had  joined  the  Russian  forces 
under  Alexander  in  Moravia.  The  united  armies  numbered  nearly 
90,000.  Napoleon  had  about  65,000  men  to  meet  this  force,  and  on 
December  2,  1805,  administered  a  crushing  defeat  at  Austerlitz. 
This  battle  decided  the  fate  of  the  campaign. 

Hostilities  ceased  and  a  definite  peace  was  signed  at  Pres- 
burg  on  December  26,  1805.  Austria  recognized  all  the  changes 
made  by  France  in  the  Italian  peninsula,  and  ceded  to  the  kingdom 
of  Italy,  Venetia,  Istria,  and  Dalmatia.  The  new  kingdoms  of 
Bavaria  and  Wiirtemberg  were  increased  at  the  expense  of  Austria. 
Only  the  duchy  of  Salzburg  fell  to  Austria  as  a  compensation  for  her 
many  losses,  and  most  of  this  she  has  retained  ever  since.  The 
monarchy  lost  the  Tyrol,  with  its  brave  and  loyal  inhabitants,  and 
the  forelands  of  the  Alps,  which  had  assured  Austrian  influence  in 
Germany,  all  her  possessions  on  the  Rhine,  in  the  Black  Forest,  and 
on  the  upper  Danube,  altogether  nearly  three  million  people.  She 
no  longer  touched  Switzerland  or  Italy,  ceased  to  be  a  maritime 
power,  and  was  obliged  to  pay  an  indemnity  of  forty  millions,  at  a 
time  when  her  treasury  was  already  exhausted. 

In  January,  1806.  the  Emperor  Francis  returned  to  the  capital, 
where  he  was  enthusiastically  received,  and  the  Viennese  returned 
to  their  luxurious  and  easy  life,  for  to  console  them  in  their  mis- 
fortunes had  they  not  the  greatest  musicians  in  the  world  in  their 
Haydn,  Beethoven,  Salieri,  and  dementi? 

Following  closely  on  the  defeat  of  the  allies,  Napoleon  organ- 
ized Bavaria,  Wiirtemberg,  Baden,  and  eleven  other  states  into  the 
Confederation  of  the  Rhine,  and  on  August  i,  1806,  these  states 
notified  the  diet  at  Ratisbon  that  they  regarded  the  empire  as  dis- 
solved. The  role  of  Austria  in  Germany  seemed  to  have  come  to 
an  end,  and,  in  recognition  of  the  fact,  Francis,  on  August  6,  1806, 
publicly  declared  that  he  resigned  the  imperial  throne  and  absolved 
all  the  officials  of  the  empire  from  their  allegiance.  Thus  the 
scepter  of  Charlemagne  fell  from  the  hands  of  the  dynasty  which 
had  held  it  with  but  one  slight  interruption  since  1438.  It  was 
naturally  not  surrendered  without  regret.  For  even  though 
Francis  ruled  over  more  than  fifteen  millions  of  non-German  sub- 
jects, his  education  had  been  purely  German,  and  to  maintain  the 

FRANCIS     II  296 


domination  of  the  Hapsburg  house  in  Suabia  and  on  the  banks  of 
the  Rhine,  the  Scheldt,  and  the  Po  was  a  cherished  ideal.  To  their 
German  ambitions  and  sympathies  they  had  on  more  than  one 
occasion  sacrificed  their  duties  and  obligations  to  the  crowns  of  St. 
Vacslav  and  St.  Stephen. 

Hence,  notwithstanding  the  end  of  the  Holy  Roman  Empire, 
all  the  aspirations  of  the  Austrian  government  continued  to  turn 
toward  Germany  and  Italy.  It  was,  moreover,  very  difficult  for 
Austria  to  remain  neutral  and  disinterested  in  the  face  of  the  in- 
cessant attempts  of  Napoleon  to  control  Europe.  Most  of  the  court 
nobility  held  estates  in  Germany,  and  thought  only  of  retaining 
them.  Under  these  circumstances  the  relations  between  Napoleon 
and  Metternich  at  Paris  became  very  much  strained.  Still  Austria 
dared  not  venture  to  support  Prussia  and  Russia  in  the  war  which 
broke  out  in  1806.  But  Napoleon  did  not  feel  any  gratitude  to  her 
for  that.  He  properly  divined  the  hostile  intentions  of  Francis  II. 
"What  would  your  sovereign  have?"  he  brusquely  demanded  of 
Metternich  at  a  reception  in  August,  1808.  "  He  would  have  his 
envoy  respected,"  dryly  replied  the  diplomat.  When  the  Austrian 
General  Vincent  brought  a  letter  of  congratulation  to  the  emperor 
at  Erfurt  from  Francis,  the  latter  roughly  reminded  him  that  he 
had  been  in  a  position  to  destroy  Austria  entirely,  and  that  she 
owed  her  continued  existence  to  his  indulgence.  The  basis  for  this 
irritation  of  Napoleon  lay  in  the  Austrian  armaments. 

The  Archduke  Charles  had  set  himself  vigorously  to  increase 
the  efficiency  and  morale  of  the  troops,  and  to  fortify  the  frontier 
on  the  German  side.  He  abolished  corporal  punishment  in  the 
army,  and  organized  a  provincial  militia  as  a  reserve  for  the  regu- 
lar army.  This  Landwehr  drilled  on  holidays  and  assembled  in 
corps  once  a  month.  The  diet  of  Bohemia  voted  a  million  and  a 
half  florins  for  the  support  of  this  militia,  while  the  diet  of  Hun- 
gary made  like  sacrifices.  At  the  same  times  measures  were  taken 
to  provoke  a  national  uprising.  Indeed  in  all  the  provinces  of 
the  monarchy  the  national  enthusiasm  was  marked.  One  warlike 
meeting  succeeded  another;  Arndt  and  Korner  as  well  as  other 
poets  of  less  note  wrote  patriotic  hymns,  which  became  immediately 
popular,  as,  for  example,  the  poem  by  Collin,  which  is  a  sort  of 
Marseillaise  for  the  Austrian  monarchy :  "  The  throne  of  the  Haps- 
burg  will  remain  unshaken,  Austria  will  not  perish!  Arise,  O  ye 
people !  form  your  battalions,  to  arms,  to  the  frontier !  " 



Napoleon's  costly  expedition  into  Spain  was  well  calculated 
to  arouse  the  boldest  hopes.  In  March,  1809,  war  was  again  de- 
clared against  France.  The  Archduke  Charles  was  appointed  gen- 
eralissimo, with  powers  such  as  no  head  of  the  army  had  had  since 
the  days  of  Wallenstein  and  Prince  Eugene.  The  available  troops 
numbered  283,000  men,  while  the  Landwehr  and  the  insurrection 
in  Hungary,  according  to  the  most  trustworthy  calculation,  could 
furnish  310,000  more,  a  grand  total  of  over  500,000.  But  the 
actual  strength  of  the  field  army  at  the  beginning  of  the  war  was 
no  more  than  265,000. 

Three  armies  were  to  attack  Napoleon  simultaneously,  the  first 
in  Bavaria,  under  the  Archduke  Charles,  the  second  in  Italy,  under 
the  command  of  the  Archduke  John,  and  the  third,  of  35,000  men, 
under  the  Archduke  Ferdinand,  was  to  invade  Poland.  Minor 
bodies  of  troops  were  to  drive  the  French  out  of  Dalmatia  and 
Triest.  Never  in  all  her  history  had  Austria  placed  on  foot  such 
an  army.  She  posed  as  the  champion  of  the  independence 
of  peoples,  and  of  the  liberty  of  Europe,  which  the  Archduke 
Charles  declared  in  his  proclamation  h^d  taken  refuge  under  Aus- 
trian banners.  "  Soldiers,  your  victories  will  break  its  fetters. 
Your  German  brethren  to-day  in  the  ranks  of  the  enemy  await  only 
their  deliverance."  There  is  no  proof  that  the  Czechs,  Slovenes, 
Hungarians,  Croats,  Rumanians,  and  Poles  were  fired  with  this 
interest  in  the  deliverance  of  their  German  brethren.  But  the 
archduke  was  only  repeating  the  traditional  phrases  of  the  mon- 
archy. It  was  a  question,  above  all,  of  impressing  Europe,  and 
especially  Germany,  with  the  idea  that  the  destiny  of  the  Ger- 
manic race  was  bound  up  with  that  of  the  house  of  Austria.  "  We 
fight  to  maintain  the  independence  of  the  Austrian  nation,"  said  a 
manifesto  addressed  to  the  German  people,  "  to  secure  that  inde- 
pendence and  that  national  honor  which  belong  to  her.  Our  re- 
sistance is  her  last  hope,  our  cause  is  hers.  With  Austria  Germany 
has  been  independent  and  happy.  She  can  become  so  again  only 
through  her." 

The  first  episode  in  the  war  was  the  insurrection  in  the  Tyrol 
against  Bavaria.  These  rude  mountaineers  were  devoted  in  their 
fidelity  to  the  house  of  Austria.  Through  a  long  series  of  reigns 
they  had  maintained  their  privileges  and  their  patriarchal  cus- 
toms. At  the  time  of  their  annexation  to  Bavaria  Maximilan 
Joseph  had  promised  them  not  to  change  one  iota  in  these  privi- 

I  * 


I     ( 



leges,  but  scarcely  a  year  had  passed  when  the  Bavarian  minister 
undertook  to  reorganize  the  new  province.  The  estates  of  the 
Tyrol  were  dissolved;  the  religious  administration  overturned;  the 
pastors  displaced  without  cause,  and  festivals  and  pilgrimages  sup- 
pressed. Under  different  circumstances  and  if  carried  out  in  a 
different  manner,  some  of  these  reforms  would  have  been  most 
excellent;  but  being  thus  brutally  imposed  by  foreign  rule  they 
drove  these  simple  people  to  the  verge  of  desperation.  They  had 
never  severed  their  relations  with  Vienna,  where  the  Tyrolese 
Hormayr  valiantly  represented  their  interests.  Early  in  1809 
three  patriots,  Hofer,  Huber,  and  Nessing,  went  to  Vienna  to  ar- 
range a  plan  of  insurrection  with  the  Archduke  John.  On  their 
return  they  organized  the  revolt.  Innkeepers,  peddlers,  and  labor- 
ers were  the  principal  agents,  but  the  secret  was  admirably 

Among  the  heroes  of  the  struggle  three  are  worthy  of  the  spe- 
cial attention  of  the  historian,  Andrew  Hofer,  the  innkeeper  of  Pas- 
seyer,  Speckbacher,  and  the  Capuchin,  Haspinger.  The  innkeeper 
and  horsedealer,  Hofer,  was  known  throughout  all  the  Tyrol.  He 
had  been  a  member  of  the  diet,  and  in  1796  he  had  led  the  Tyrolese 
in  Italy  against  the  French.  Although  the  father  of  seven  children, 
he  never  hesitated  to  leave  them  for  the  service  of  his  country. 
Speckbacher  had  taken  part  in  the  previous  campaigns,  and  devel- 
oped a  real  military  talent.  The  Capuchin  Haspinger,  better  known 
as  Father  Joachim  of  the  Red  Beard,  had  accompanied  the  Tyrolese 
in  all  their  expeditions  as  chaplain.  He  never  shed  blood  himself, 
but  no  one  knew  better  than  he  how  to  incite  the  soldiers  to  battle 
and  heighten  their  patriotism  by  their  religious  faith. 

On  April  9,  1809,  the  Austrian  general  crossed  the  Tyrolese 
frontier.  He  was  triumphantly  received  everywhere,  and  Hofer 
called  his  compatriots  to  arms.  When  the  Austrians  reached  the 
Pusterthal  they  did  not  find  a  single  Bavarian.  Hofer  and  his 
peasants  had  already  driven  the  foreigners  out.  Some  days  later 
Innsbruck  was  captured,  but  the  captors  sullied  their  victory  by 
pillaging  the  houses  of  the  Jews  and  Bavarian  officials.  On  the 
following  day  3500  Frenchmen  laid  down  their  arms  in  the  pres- 
ence of  these  rude  mountaineers.  Hormayer,  who  had  arrived  with 
the  Austrian  army,  reestablished  the  old  administrative  system. 
But  in  the  south  the  struggle  was  more  severe.  There  the  French 
general  with  8000  men  for  some  time  held  their  own  against  the 



army  of  Hofer  and  his  Austrian  allies.  Then  he  slowly  withdrew 
into  Italy,  and  by  the  end  of  April  all  of  the  Tyrol  except  the 
citadel  of  Kuftein  was  in  the  hands  of  the  Austrians.  But  these 
unexpected  successes  filled  the  Austrians  with  confidence  which 
after  events  by  no  means  justified. 

Napoleon  had  left  Paris  on  April  13,  and  hastened  to  meet 
the  Archduke  Charles,  who  had  entered  Bavaria.  The  Austrian 
lines  extended  from  Munich  to  Ratisbon.  By  the  victory  of 
Afensberg  Napoleon  cut  them  in  two,  seized  Landshut,  and  crushed 
the  main  body  at  Ekmiihl  and  Ratisbon,  on  April  22  and  23.  The 
stand  of  the  Austrian  army  had  been  heroic,  and  it  lost  nearly 
40,000  men  in  killed,  wounded,  and  prisoners.  These  heavy 
losses  were  by  no  means  compensated  for  by  the  successes  of 
the  Austrians  in  Italy,  where  they  occupied  Friuli,  and  in  Poland, 
where  Warsaw  capitulated  to  the  Archduke  Ferdinand.  The 
Archduke  Charles  had  been  forced  to  fall  back  on  Bohemia  in 
order  to  reorganize  his  army,  leaving  the  way  to  Vienna  open, 
and  on  May  13,  after  a  brief  bombardment,  the  French  entered 
the  Austrian  capital  for  the  second  time. 

But  the  campaign  was  by  no  means  ended.  After  the  occu- 
pation of  Vienna  the  right  bank  of  the  Danube  from  Linz  to  the 
Hungarian  frontier  was  in  the  hands  of  the  French,  while  the  left 
bank  was  held  by  the  Austrians.  Napoleon  caused  bridges  to  be 
thrown  across  the  river  beyond  Lobau  in  order  to  dislodge  the 
enemy.  The  troops  of  Massena  and  Lannes  seized  the  villages  of 
Aspern  and  Esslingen,  behind  which  the  Archduke  Charles,  com- 
manding 95,000  troops,  awaited  them.  On  learning  of  the  passage 
of  the  French  he  issued  an  order  to  his  troops,  which  recalls  the 
famous  words  of  Nelson  at  Trafalgar :  "  To-morrow  is  the  day 
of  battle ;  the  destiny  of  the  monarchy  depends  upon  you ;  I  will  do 
my  duty  and  I  expect  the  same  from  the  army."  For  two  days 
he  made  an  attempt  to  drive  the  French  into  the  Danube.  The  bat- 
tle was  not  decisive  and  the  French  troops  were  obliged  to  entrench 
themselves  in  the  island  of  Lobau.  The  two  days  had  cost  the 
two  armies  more  than  40,000  men  in  dead  and  wounded,  and 
Marshal  Lannes  had  been  killed.  Victory  seemed  to  hesitate  be- 
tween the  two  forces  and  Napoleon  was  forced  to  recognize  that 
he  had  at  last  found  a  foeman  worthy  of  his  steel.  By  the  Aus- 
trians Aspern  is  regarded  as  the  most  glorious  victory  since 
Zenta  and  Kolin.    The  Emperor  Francis  sent  his  special  congratu- 



lations  to  the  archduke,  and  Napoleon  said  later,  "  Those  who  did 
not  see  the  Austrians  at  Aspern  have  seen  nothing." 

After  the  battles  of  Aspern  and  Esslingen  Napoleon  fortified 
the  island  of  Lobau,  transforming  it  into  an  entrenched  camp 
whence  he  could  easily  pass  to  either  shore.  His  most  serious  dan- 
ger lay  in  the  arrival  of  the  Archduke  John  from  Italy.  The 
latter  had  been  gradually  driven  in  by  Eugene  Beauharnais,  but  had 
turned  aside  into  Hungary  to  aid  the  insurrection.  Beauharnais 
did  not  follow  him  thither,  but  joined  his  forces  to  Napoleon  at 
Vienna,  and  thus  reinforced  Napoleon  crossed  to  the  left  bank  of 
the  Danube  with  150,000  men  and  550  cannon.  The  Archduke 
Charles,  whose  forces  had  been  raised  to  only  135,000  men,  consid- 
ered it  inadvisable  to  dispute  the  passage.  He  awaited  the  French 
upon  the  heights  of  Wagram.  The  results  of  that  bloody  day 
are  well  known,  and  again  40,000  men  were  left  upon  the  field  of 
battle.  After  most  brilliant  fighting  the  Archduke  Charles  was 
forced  to  abandon  his  position  and  retreat  into  Moravia.  From 
there  he  asked  for  an  armistice,  which  was  granted.  The  execution 
of  the  armistice  was  instructed  to  the  Archduke  John,  to  whom  was 
given  the  command  of  the  army,  a  slight  to  the  Archduke  Charles 
which  led  him  to  resign.  He  thenceforth  lived  in  retirement  except 
for  a  brief  period  in  181 5.  Since  the  days  of  Wallenstein  and 
Prince  Eugene  no  Austrian  general  had  so  great  an  influence  over 
his  soldiers. 

The  final  treaty  of  peace  was  signed  at  Schonbrunn  on 
October  14.  On  the  day  following  Napoleon  ordered  the  demoli- 
tion of  the  fortress  of  Vienna,  the  Viennese  having  in  vain  prayed 
for  the  preservation  of  their  old  walls,  which  had  formerly  pro- 
tected them  against  the  Turks.  The  territories  of  Salzburg,  the 
section  of  the  Inn,  and  some  other  districts  were  ceded  to  Bavaria. 
To  Napoleon  Francis  surrendered  what  had  been  left  of  Gorica, 
with  the  county  of  Montefalcone,  Triest,  and  Carniola,  the  upper 
part  of  Carinthia,  and  all  of  the  right  bank  of  the  Save,  from  its 
source  to  the  Turkish  frontier — that  is,  Croatia,  Fiume,  and  Aus- 
trian Istria.  Lusatia  was  given  to  Saxony,  and  western  Galicia 
rounded  out  the  territory  of  the  duchy  of  Warsaw,  while  the  circle 
of  Tarnopol  went  to  Russia. 

The  Austrian  monarchy  sustained  a  loss  of  over  3,500,000 
of  its  subjects,  her  population  being  reduced  to  less  than  21,000,000. 
The  secret  articles  of  the  treaty  limited  the  army  to  150,000  men, 



and  provided  for  an  indemnity  of  85,(XX),ooo  francs.  But  of  all 
these  sacrifices,  the  abandonment  of  the  Tyrol  was  the  most 
painful.  Despite  all  his  promises  to  these  brave  mountaineers, 
Francis  was  obliged  to  surrender  them  to  Bavaria.  Hofer  and 
his  companions  had  never  despaired  of  victory.  They  had  suc- 
cessfully opposed  both  Bavarians  and  French,  alone,  unaided, 
sometimes  without  any  news  whatever  from  the  capital;  they  had 
placed  their  country  in  a  state  of  defense,  manufactured  arms,  am- 
munition, and  cannon,  and  forced  the  French  to  evacuate  Inns- 
bruck. They  now  decided  to  continue  the  struggle  on  their  own 
account.  The  30,000  Frenchmen,  Bavarians,  and  Wurtemburgers 
were  repulsed  and  crushed  by  rocks  hurled  down  upon  them  in  the 
narrow  mountain  passes.  The  resistance  was  heroic  and  more  stub- 
bom  even  than  that  of  Spain.  General  Lefebvre  was  obliged  to 
retire  into  Carinthia  in  August,  1809,  leaving  Hofer  master  of  the 
country.  The  latter  established  himself  in  the  imperial  palace  as 
commander-in-chief,  and  never  did  a  leader  receive  more  implicit 
obedience.  But  the  arrival  of  fresh  troops  from  Italy  and  Baravia 
made  further  resistance  useless,  though  the  struggle  was  prolonged 
till  December,  and  the  Tyrolese  leaders,  were  forced  to  fly  or  go  into 
hiding.  Spechbacher  and  Haspinger  succeeded  in  crossing  the 
frontier,  but  Hofer,  upon  whose  head  an  award  of  100,000  florins 
had  been  placed,  was  betrayed  in  1810,  and  taken  to  Mantua.  The 
commander  of  the  fortress  was  that  same  Bisson  who  had  had 
occasion  to  appreciate  the  military  talent  of  this  intrepid  soldier, 
and  who  had  endeavored  to  secure  his  services  for  Napoleon,  only 
to  be  rebuked  by  the  answer  of  the  simple  mountaineer :  "  I  remain 
faithful  to  my  Emperor  Francis."  A  council  of  war  condemned 
him  to  death,  and  on  February  21  he  was  shot.  In  1823  a  number 
of  Tyrolese  officers  disinterred  his  bones  and  brought  them  back  to 
Innsbruck.  The  tragic  death  of  Hofer  contributed  in  a  remarkable 
degree  to  the  awakening  of  national  sentiment  in  Germany.  The 
revenge  of  the  conqueror  was  not  turned  aside  by  the  death  of  the 
hero.  In  order  to  crush  all  resistance  the  Tyrol  was  dismembered, 
a  part  being  given  to  Italy,  a  part  to  Illyria,  and  the  remainder  to 
Bavaria.  The  University  of  Innsbruck  was  closed  and  its  young 
men  enrolled  under  foreign  banners. 

Napoleon's  relations  with  the  Illyrian  provinces  were  more 
fortunate.  He  revived  the  classic  name  of  Illyria  for  all  the  coun- 
tries bordering  on  the  Adriatic — Carinthia,  Camiola,  Gorica,  Istria, 



and  part  of  Croatia  and  Dalmatia — and  divided  them  into  prov- 
inces. The  name  of  Illyria  excited  most  Hvely  enthusiasm  among 
the  Slav  peoples,  only  recently  oppressed  by  Germanism,  and  now 
grouped  for  the  first  time  into  a  national  unity  such  as  they  could 
not  even  hope  for  under  the  Austrian  government.  The  national 
language  was  encouraged  and  a  Slav  liturgy  developed.  "  The 
people,"  says  a  Slovene  historian,  "  were  particularly  impressed 
with  the  precise  and  prompt  justice  accorded  by  the  French  courts. 
General  security  was  greater  than  at  any  other  period,  and  the 
Slovenes  still  have  most  excellent  recollections  of  the  French  gen- 
darmes. The  imposts  were  regulated  and  collected  with  more  sys- 
tem, and  communal  liberties  increased.  It  would  be  a  long  story 
«to  narrate  all  the  benefits  the  French  rule  brought  to  these  coun- 
tries. During  the  four  years  over  which  it  lasted  the  French  lan- 
guage rapidly  spread  among  the  people,  and  at  Laibach  there  were 
none  with  any  pretense  to  enlightenment  that  did  not  learn  French. 
Even  to  this  day  the  Slovene  peasant  calls  the  imposts  Franke 
in  remembrance  of  the  French  financial  administration.  Charles 
Nodier,  who  was  appointed  librarian  at  Laibach,  published  a  poly- 
glot sheet,  the  Illyrian  Telegraph.  The  poet  Vodnik  translated  the 
grammar  of  Lhomond  into  Slovene,  and  sang  the  praises  of  Na- 
poleon in  the  well-known  ode,  "  Risen  Illyria,"  in  which  the  aspira- 
tions and  hopes  of  his  native  land  are  set  forth.  "  Napoleon  has 
said,  Awake,  Illyria !  arise !  She  wakes  and  sighs,  *  Who  calls  me  to 
the  light?  O  noble  hero,  it  is  thou  who  hast  awakened  me!  thou 
wilt  give  me  power,  wilt  lift  me  up.  Our  race  shall  be  glorified,  a 
miracle  is  preparing!  I  dare  prophesy  to  the  Slovenes.  Napoleon 
has  come,  and  an  entire  generation  springs  to  earth.  Resting  one 
hand  on  Gaul,  I  stretch  out  the  other  to  Greece  to  save  her.  At  the 
head  of  Greece  is  Corinth,  in  the  center  of  Europe  is  Illyria.  Cor- 
^  inth  is  the  eye  of  Greece,  Illyria  shall  be  the  jewel  of  the  world.'  " 
B  In  Dalmatia  likewise  the  French  government  favored  the  na- 

tional language,  which  had  been  suppressed  by  the  Venetians,  and 
had  the  official  journals  of  the  country  published  in  both  Slav  and 
Italian.  Schools  were  created  and  a  great  road  was  constructed 
which  bore  for  many  years  the  name  of  "  Napoleon's  Road."  In- 
deed it  is  a  direct  result  of  the  French  occupation  of  these  regions 
that  Austria  now  possesses  Ragusa,  and  that  in  her  official  docu- 
ments she  still  retains  the  fiction  of  the  kingdom  of  Illyria. 

Austria  came  out  of  this  struggle  weakened  and  almost  ruined. 



Only  a  policy  of  patient  and  wise  moderation  could  now  enable 
her  to  reestablish  her  finances  and  reorganize  her  army.  At  the 
moment  peace  was  signed,  Francis  had  taken  as  his  first  minister 
Count  Clemens  Metternich,  and  after  the  dismissal  of  Stadion  he 
intrusted  him  with  the  management  of  foreign  affairs.  Metternich, 
like  so  many  others,  came  from  a  family  strangers  to  Austria 
proper,  the  name  coming  from  the  little  village  of  Metternich  in 
the  Rhenish  provinces.  In  1630,  at  a  period  when  that  country 
was  being  exploited  by  the  Germans,  a  branch  of  the  family  had 
settled  in  Bohemia.  Metternich's  father  had  been  Austrian  min- 
ister at  the  courts  of  the  Rhenish  electors.  His  son,  who  was  bom 
in  1773,  had  married  a  granddaughter  of  Kaunitz,  and  entered  the 
diplomatic  service  at  an  early  age.  Since  the  peace  of  Presburg 
he  had  represented  Austria  at  Paris.  It  was  he  who  had  prepared 
the  disastrous  campaign  of  1809,  but  in  spite  of  its  failure  the 
emperor  deemed  it  necessary  to  place  the  direction  of  affairs  in  the 
hands  of  the  one  man  who  best  understood  Napoleon. 

It  was  Metternich  who  brought  about  the  union  between  Na- 
poleon and  the  Archduchess  Marie  Louise.  He  saw  in  this  union 
the  best  means  of  securing  to  Austria  the  alliance  of  her  power- 
ful enemy,  and  Francis  II.  was  obliged  to  give  his  consent  to 
the  marriage  of  his  daughter  to  the  upstart  Caesar,  who  spoke 
of  the  Austrian  emperor  as  "  this  skeleton,  Francis  II.,  who  has 
been  placed  upon  a  throne  through  the  merit  of  his  ancestors." 
Public  opinion  received  this  new  humiliation  with  much  grief.  For 
an  Austrian  emperor  to  accept  as  his  son-in-law  the  crowned  heir 
of  the  revolution  which  had  beheaded  Marie  Antoinette  was  an 
even  greater  humiliation  than  Wagram.  On  the  evening  of  the 
marriage,  which  took  place  by  proxy,  and  at  which  Napoleon  was 
represented  by  the  plebeian  Berthier,  the  "  Sacrifice  of  Iphegenia  " 
was  played  at  the  court  theater,  and  the  courtiers  could  not  forbear 
comparing  their  sovereign  with  the  barbarian  Agamemnon  and  the 
archduchess  with  the  Greek  heroine.  Unfortunately  the  meanness 
of  Marie  Louise's  character  has  deprived  her  of  much  of  the  sym- 
pathy her  position  would  naturally  inspire.  Metternich  accom- 
panied the  young  princess  to  Paris,  where  he  obtained  some  accom- 
modation regarding  the  payment  of  the  indemnity  and  the  waiving 
of  the  humiliating  clause  of  the  treaty  which  reduced  the  Austrian 
forces  to  150,000  men. 

The  most  serious  matter  for  Austria  after  1809  was  the  finan- 



cial  situation.  From  1793  to  1810  the  public  debt  had  risen  from 
377,000,000  to  658,000,000  florins.  It  had  been  necessary  to  have 
recourse  to  forced  loans  and  at  times  to  the  suspension  of  payment 
on  official  salaries.  A  patent  of  1809  ordered  all  private  citizens 
to  deliver  their  precious  metals,  in  exchange  for  which  they  re- 
ceived bonds  and  lottery  tickets.  The  issue  of  paper  money  in- 
creased steadily.  In  1792  it  amounted  to  200,000,000;  in  1810  it 
had  passed  the  milliard  mark.  Bills  for  30  and  15  kreutzers  were 
issued,  and  paper  money  depreciated  in  the  inverse  ratio  to  the 
quantities  issued.  In  1809  the  florin  had  depreciated  to  one-fourth 
its  full  value,  and  the  banknotes  from  the  provinces  ceded  to  the 
French  contributed  still  further  to  this  depreciation.  Prices  be- 
came higher  and  higher,  and  to  pay  the  indemnity  to  Napoleon  it 
was  found  necessary  to  melt  down  the  precious  vessels  of  the 

In  1 8 10  a  sinking  fund  had  been  created,  and  a  tax  of  one-tenth 
was  laid  on  all  property,  real  or  personal.  By  181 1  the  total  amount 
of  the  banknotes  issued  had  reached  the  appalling  sum  of  1,060,- 
798,753  florins,  and  nothing  was  left  the  government  but  bank- 
ruptcy. On  February  20  of  this  year  all  notes  were  reduced  to  one- 
fifth  of  their  face  value,  which  brought  about  a  terrible  financial 
catastrophe,  and  many  families  were  ruined.  This  special  patent 
fixed  the  value  of  paper  money  from  1799  to  1810,  taking  into  con- 
sideration the  date  on  which  debts  had  been  incurred.  Persons 
who  had  borrowed  100  florins  in  1803  paid  129  florins  in  paper; 
in  1806,  148;  in  1809,  234;  and  in  181 1,  500.  The  Hungarian  diet 
agreed  to  a  reduction  of  fifty  per  cent.,  but  refused  the  scala,  which 
was  nevertheless  insisted  upon  by  the  government.  It  was  only 
in  18 1 6  that  order  was  restored  in  the  finances. 

The  reign  of  Francis  II.  was  more  successful  in  legislation 
than  in  finance.  In  1803  the  penal  code  was  published,  and  in  181 1 
the  new  civil  code.  Both  were  animated  by  the  spirit  of  humanity 
and  justice  to  which  the  eighteenth  century  had  given  birth.  The 
penal  code  suppressed  confiscation,  the  galleys,  and  the  dragging 
of  boats.  It  retained  hanging  as  the  death  penalty,  and  imprison- 
ment in  three  degrees  of  severity — hard  labor,  the  pillory,  and  fast- 
ing, which  is  even  now  inflicted.  It  did  not  provide  for  the  ap- 
pointment of  a  minister  of  justice  nor  allow  prisoners  to  have 
counsel,  and  yet  this  penal  code  was  one  of  the  best  of  this  time, 
and  continued  in  force  down  to  1852.    The  civil  code  of  181 1  was 



the  result  of  fifty  years  or  more  of  work  which  had  been  begun  by 
Maria  Theresa.  On  January  i,  1812,  it  came  into  use  throughout 
the  whole  empire,  excepting  in  Hungary  and  Transylvania.  It 
recognized  special  legislation  for  the  church,  for  the  Jews,  and  for 
large  landed  estates  in  their  relation  to  the  provincial  estates,  and 
while  it  left  the  peasants  in  subjection,  it  did  not  recognize  serf- 
dom, admitting  the  principle  that  every  citizen  was  capable  of 
enjoying  civil  rights. 

This  adoption  of  a  uniform  code  for  all  the  provinces  except 
Hungary  aided  materially  to  bring  about  that  political  unity  which 
has  always  been  the  chief  aim  of  the  dynasty.  Only  the  Magyars 
held  to  their  independence,  refusing  to  accept  it,  notwithstanding 
the  superiority  of  the  new  code  over  the  jus  tripartitum  then  in 

So  long  as  Napoleon  remained  at  the  head  of  the  French 
empire  there  could  be  no  peace  in  Europe;  nations  must  be  either 
his  allies  or  his  enemies.  Francis  had  chosen  to  be  his  ally,  and  it 
was  not  long  before  he  was  dragged  into  his  wars.  In  the  struggle 
tween  Napoleon  and  Russia  he  had  to  submit  to  the  necessity  of 
helping  his  son-in-law,  as  he  had  formerly  submitted  to  the  humilia- 
tion of  giving  him  his  daughter.  Austria,  reduced  to  the  role  of 
land  power,  was  surrounded  on  all  sides  by  states  created 
by  the  conqueror:  Switzerland,  the  Confederation  of  the  Rhine, 
Italy,  and  the  duchy  of  Warsaw  were  all  creations  of  Napoleon, 
and  even  Austria  herself  was  in  a  state  of  vassalage.  "  God  and 
his  avenging  angel  are  destroying  us,"  wrote  Gentz.  When 
Radetzky  was  the  chief  of  staff  he  formed  a  plan  for  making  of 
the  standing  army  a  body  in  which  the  whole  male  population 
should  be  trained,  after  the  model  of  the  Prussian  Landwehr,  and 
Mettemich  had  given  his  approval ;  But  Count  Wallis,  president  of 
the  Hofkammer,  opposed  it  on  the  basis  that  "  Austria  was  in  so 
enfeebled  a  condition  that  she  could  not  dream  of  going  to  war 
for  the  next  ten  years,  perhaps  not  for  thirty." 

Mettemich  was  determined  to  maintain  cordial  relations  be- 
tween the  two  empires,  and  so  despite  his  desire  to  remain  at  peace, 
Francis  was  forced  to  ally  himself  with  Napoleon  against  the  Tsar. 
He  promised  30,000  troops  and  30,000  reserves,  and  in  case  of 
success  he  was  to  receive  a  territorial  compensation  in  exchange  for 
these  sacrifices.  Considering  the  situation  of  Austria  these  were 
very  honorable  conditions  indeed;  it  again  put  her  in  a  position 


FRANCIS     II  305 


to  come  forward  as  a  mediator  should  circumstances  allow  it.  But 
the  nation  was  discontented  with  an  alliance  with  Napoleon;  plots 
were  organized  to  deprive  him  of  the  Illyrian  provinces,  while  Eng- 
lish and  Prussian  agents  journeyed  throughout  Austria  rousing 
the  people  against  France.  In  May,  1812,  Francis  II.  and  his  son- 
in-law  met  at  Dresden.  Metternich,  who  accompanied  his  master, 
endeavored  to  turn  Napoleon  aside  from  the  Russian  campaign, 
an  enterprise  which  he  saw  was  full  of  danger.  But  his  efforts 
were  in  vain.  The  Austrian  army  assembled  at  Lemberg  under  the 
command  of  Schwarzenberg,  and  the  reserves  were  assembled  in 
Transylvania.  There  was  little  enthusiasm  among  the  Austrian 
soldiers,  and  Schwarzenberg's  proclamation  clearly  expressed  his 
perplexity :  "  We  are  fighting  for  an  object  which  is  common  to 
us  with  other  powers — those  powers  are  our  allies.  We  are  fight- 
ing with  them,  not  for  them.  The  army  will  show  that  virtue 
which  is  the  best  of  all  military  virtues,  namely,  to  sacrifice  itself 
in  order  to  fulfill  the  object  which  the  sovereign  has  proposed  to 
himself."  The  army  did  fulfill  its  duty,  and  marched  into  the 
duchy  of  Warsaw.  Schwarzenberg  penetrated  some  distance  into 
Lithuania,  but  he  did  not  take  part  in  the  expedition  against  Mos- 
cow or  in  the  disastrous  retreat  which  followed,  and  hence  was 
able  to  bring  back  his  troops  almost  intact.  It  was  plain  that  it 
was  not  the  business  of  Austria  to  continue,  on  her  own  account, 
a  struggle  in  which  the  grand  army  had  failed.  The  war  had  been 
unprofitable  from  the  beginning,  and  now  it  was  more  so  than  ever. 
Metternich,  who  was  regarded  as  the  author  of  the  fatal  expedition, 
was  loaded  with  abuse:  public  opinion  demanded  an  open  alliance 
with  Napoleon's  enemies.  Upon  the  express  orders  of  the  Em- 
peror Alexander  the  Russians  refused  to  recognize  the  Austrians 
as  enemies.  "  We  are  waging  war,"  they  said,  "  only  against  the 
French  and  the  Poles."  A  diplomatic  agent  was  even  sent  to 
Schwarzenberg  to  propose  that  he  should  recognize  an  armistice, 
and  although  the  proposition  was  refused,  Schwarzenberg  con- 
sented to  cross  to  the  left  bank  of  the  Vistula. 

At  Vienna  the  excitement  was  intense  when'  it  was  learned 
that  the  king  of  Prussia  had  left  Berlin  and  publicly  formed  an 
alliance  with  Russia.  Vienna  had  become  the  rendezvous  of  many 
Prussian  and  German  emigres,  among  whom  was  the  poet  Korner, 
who  had  become  attached  to  the  theater  at  Vienna  as  dramatic 
poet.    Even  at  the  time  of  the  French  alliance  Korner  wrote  songs 



which  could  not  fail  to  arouse  hatred  against  France.  This  is 
especially  true  of  his  ode  on  the  victory  of  Aspern,  which,  accord- 
ing to  him,  was  a  German  victory.  "  This  battle  have  the  German 
people  fought."  He  had  addressed  some  enthusiastic  verses  to  the 
Archduke  John.  "  My  German  pride  bows  down  before  the 
German  hero  who  has  rekindled  the  flame  upon  the  altar  of  vic- 
tory." He  invoked  the  shade  of  Hofer,  the  Tyrolese  hero,  in  ar- 
dent language :  "  They  have  captured  thee,  the  slaves  of  the  tyrant, 
but  thou  hast  looked  to  heaven  as  a  place  of  victory;  and  hast 
entered  to  liberty  through  death."  The  burning  of  Moscow  he 
celebrated  in  these  words :  "  The  phoenix  of  Russia  flung  itself  into 
the  flames  only  to  rise  younger  and  more  beautiful  than  ever; 
already  St.  George  is  brandishing  the  victorious  lance." 

Francis  H.,  without  daring  to  show  his  sympathy  for  the 
passions  raging  round  him,  proposed  nevertheless  that  Napoleon 
make  peace,  and  to  that  end  offered  his  mediation,  which  was  ac- 
cepted. Mettemich  was  becoming  suspicious  about  the  aggrandize- 
ment of  Russia,  which  only  recently  had  annexed  Finland  and 
Bessarabia,  and  he  also  believed  that  the  time  had  not  yet  come 
when  Napoleon  could  be  safely  attacked.  In  order  that  Austria 
might  be  able  to  intervene  with  some  chance  of  success,  it  was  neces- 
sary that  she  should  be  well  armed,  and  a  considerable  force  was 
accordingly  assembled  in  Bohemia.  Schwarzenberg  was  sent  to 
Plans  with  instructions,  as  Metternich  said,  "  to  offer  to  Napoleon 
not  merely  mediation,  but  rather  the  intervention  of  an  ally  who  is 
weary  of  the  war  and  desires  to  put  an  end  to  it."  But  the  ar- 
rogant speech  of  Napoleon  at  the  opem'ng  of  the  Corps  Legislatif 
in  February,  1813,  left  but  little  hope  for  peace.  In  the  meantime, 
public  feeling  grew  more  and  more  violent  at  Vienna,  and  when 
the  king  of  Prussia  declared  war  on  Napoleon,  it  could  no  longer 
be  restrained.  The  government  concluded  a  secret  agreement  by 
which  the  Austrian  army  in  Poland  returned  into  Galicia  and  re- 
mained neutral.  Napoleon  endeavored  to  interest  Austria  in  the 
war  against  Prussia  by  the  promise  of  Silesia,  and,  if  need  be,  the 
surrender  of  the  Illyrian  provinces ;  but  these  vague  promises  were 
not  sufficient,  and  thenceforth  the  only  bond  that  united  France  to 
Austria  was  the  slender  tie  of  the  marriage  between  Marie  Louise 
and  Napoleon.  When  Napoleon  left  Paris  he  was  anxious  to  de- 
termine the  value  of  the  Austrian  alliance,  and  issued  orders  for 
the  Austrian  auxiliary  troops  to  march  with  Poniatowski.     The 

FRANCIS    II  307 


order  was  not  obeyed.  The  Austrians,  who  had  begun  to  withdraw 
from  the  left  bank  of  the  Vistula,  continued  their  retreat.  Still 
Francis,  desiring-  to  save  appearances,  could  not  make  up  his  mind. 
The  English  agents  were  ordered  to  leave  Austrian  territory,  and 
he  ostentatiously  refused  to  receive  the  Prussian  General  Scham- 
horst,  who  was  coming  to  propose  an  alliance  with  Prussia  and 
Russia.  Secretly,  however,  he  sent  Stadion  to  the  Russian  camp, 
while  he  congratulated  Napoleon  on  the  victory  of  Lutzen.  He 
levied  a  special  tax,  called  an  anticipatory  tax,  amounting  to  twelve 
times  the  value  of  an  ordinary  tax,  a  sum  approximating  45,000,000 
florins.  Never  did  the  old  adage.  Si  vis  pacem  para  bellum,  receive 
a  more  complete  application. 

The  command  of  the  army  assembled  in  Bohemia  was  given 
to  Schwarzenberg.  His  principal  officer  was  Joseph  Radetzky, 
who  later  was  to  play  a  very  important  role  in  the  military  his- 
tory of  Austria.  The  emperor,  accompanied  by  Metternich,  set  out 
for  Bohemia  in  order  to  be  near  the  scene  of  military  operations. 
After  an  interview  with  Alexander,  and  the  king  of  Prussia,  Met- 
ternich went  on  to  Dresden  to  see  Napoleon.  He  endeavored  to 
make  the  French  emperor  agree  to  a  European  peace.  He  pro- 
posed that  Napoleon  surrender  the  Hanseatic  towns  and  the  Illyrian 
provinces,  abolish  the  duchy  of  Warsaw,  and  the  Confederation-  of 
the  Rhine,  and  restore  Prussia  to  the  position  she  had  occupied  in 
1805.  But  intoxicated  by  victory,  the  conqueror  refused  to  listen  to 
the  proposals.  The  utmost  that  he  would  concede  to  preserve  Aus- 
trian neutrality  was  the  cession  of  the  Illyrian  provinces.  After  the 
departure  of  Metternich,  however,  he  authorized  Maret,  his  minister 
of  foreign  affairs,  to  enter  into  negotiations  with  Austria,  and 
even  to  accept  proposals  for  a  conference  which  was  to  meet  at 
Prague  to  arrange  a  European  peace.  But  in  the  meantime  Aus- 
tria, Russia,  and  Prussia  had  signed  the  Treaty  of  Reichenbach, 
on  June  27.  Consequently,  the  conferences  which  were  opened  at 
Prague  were  not  of  a  serious  character.  Napoleon  had  granted  an 
armistice  with  the  sole  object  of  gaining  time  to  organize  his 
forces.  But  while  the  congress  was  in  meeting,  the  military  repre- 
sentatives of  Russia,  Prussia,  Sweden,  and  Austria  met  in  Silesia 
to  determine  upon  a  common  plan  of  operation  against  Napoleon, 
In  order  to  flatter  Austria,  the  supreme  direction  of  affairs  was  in- 
trusted to  Schwarzenberg,  at  this  time  in  the  prime  of  manhood. 
He  had  entered  the  army  at  the  age  of  fifteen,  had  fought  against 



the  Turks  under  Joseph  II.,  and  had  participated  in  the  campaigns 
of  the  Low  Countries  and  the  Rhine,  as  well  as  in  all  the  wars 
against  France.  He  well  knew  the  enemy  he  had  to  deal  with, 
and  Napoleon,  too,  recognized  in  him  a  worthy  adversary.  The 
choice  of  Schwarzenberg,  therefore,  as  the  leader  of  the  allied 
army  may  be  attributed  as  much  to  his  military  talent  as  to  deference 
to  Austria.  Two  Austrian  armies  took  the  field,  one  on  the  frontier 
of  the  Illyrian  provinces,  the  other  on  the  side  of  Bavaria.  Too  late. 
Napoleon  decided  to  make  overtures.  His  courier  arrived  on  the 
morning  of  August  ii,  and  on  the  previous  evening  Mettemich 
had  sent  a  note  tb  Caulaincourt  announcing  the  alliance  of  Austria 
with  Prussia  and  Russia.  The  army  of  Austria  was  to  play  a  de- 
cisive part  in  the  campaign  which  was  now  opening. 

The  Austrian  army  found  a  secure  base  of  operations  in  Bo- 
hemia, protected  on  all  sides  by  mountains.  On  August  17  Schwar- 
zenberg's  forces  began  to  pass  the  defiles  into  Silesia,  and  crossed 
the  Saxon  frontier  on  the  22d.  The  proclamation  of  the  generalis- 
simo expressed  the  situation  succinctly :  "  Russians,  Prussians, 
Austrians !  you  are  fighting  only  for  the  liberty  of  Europe,  and  for 
the  independence  of  your  native  land!  All  for  one,  one  for  all! 
Let  this  be  your  battle  cry,  and  victory  is  yours."  Thus  was  ush- 
ered in  the  memorable  campaign  of  181 3,  and  throughout  it  all  the 
military  history  of  Austria  is  intimately  associated  with  that  of 
France  and  Germany.  Some  fighting  on  the  southern  frontier 
of  Austria,  the  great  victory  at  Leipzig — fought  on  the  days  of 
October  16,  18,  19,  181 3,  and  commonly  called  the  Battle  of  the 
Nations — the  retreat  of  Napoleon,  the  campaign  in  France,  and 
finally  the  taking  of  Paris,  in  March,  18 14,  mark  the  successive 
stages  of  the  conflict. 

On  Austrian  territory  itself  considerable  fighting  occurred, 
but  as  all  depended  on  the  outcome  of  the  principal  campaign,  this 
is  of  slight  importance.  Two  attempts  on  the  part  of  the  French 
to  enter  Bohemia  were  repulsed  by  the  allies  and  served  only  to 
bring  Austria  more  closely  into  union  with  Russia  and  Prussia 
in  the  Treaty  of  Teplitz.  In  the  southwest  the  military  operations 
resulted  in  the  occupation  of  Karlovac  and  Fiume  without  resist- 
ance. A  division  was  sent  into  Dalmatia  and  one  into  the  Tyrol  by 
the  Pusterthal.  In  Upper  Austria  the  conflict  was  not  serious,  de- 
spite the  presence  there  of  the  Bavarians,  the  allies  of  the  French. 
The  former  had  been  invited  by  Russia  and  Prussia  to  join  the 



alliance,  and  after  some  hesitation  the  Bavarian  general  signed  an 
agreement,  on  October  8,  placing  his  army  at  the  disposition  of  the 
allies.  As  a  result  of  these  developments  the  French  were  forced 
to  abandon  Laibach  and  the  Illyrian  provinces,  the  governor  general, 
Fouche,  taking  refuge  on  Venetian  territory. 

The  news  of  the  agreement  arrived  at  between  Austria  and 
Bavaria  was  welcomed  in  the  Tyrol  with  the  most  lively  satisfac- 
tion, and  the  Austrian  troops  received  an  enthusiastic  welcome  at 
Innsbruck,  on  their  way  to  Italy.  On  their  way  southward  they 
seized  Trent  and  pushed  forward  into  Italian  territory.  The  south- 
ern Tyrol  was  now  entirely  in  the  hands  of  the  Austrians,  and  the 
Tyrolese  of  Innsbruck,  jealous  of  the  fortunate  fate  of  their  coun- 
trymen, rose  and  drove  out  the  Bavarians.  In  Dalmatia  the  towns 
still  faithful  to  the  French  were  seized  with  the  help  of  the  troops 
from  an  English  squadron.  The  last  place  to  hold  out  for  the 
French  was  Ragusa,  and  against  it  the  Servian,  Milutinovic,  was 
sent.  After  a  slight  resistance  the  town  surrendered.  Thus  by  the 
beginning  of  1814  Austria  was  again  mistress  of  the  Adriatic  coast, 
and  the  reannexation  of  Dalmatia  and  the  Illyrian  provinces  and 
the  restitution  of  the  Tyrol  were  to  her  by  far  the  most  important 
results  of  that  gigantic  struggle  which  was  only  to  be  finally  closed 
by  the  battle  of  Waterloo. 

These  successes  were  more  easily  attained  because  of  the  dis- 
asters which  befell  Napoleon  at  the  beginning  of  the  campaign  in 
Germany.  The  battle  of  Leipzig,  won  chiefly  by  the  very  capable 
generalship  of  Schwarzenberg  and  his  superior  numbers,  especially 
after  the  defection  of  the  Saxons,  compelled  the  French  to  beat 
a  hasty  retreat  to  the  Rhine.  Immediately  before  the  battle  of 
Leipzig  Schwarzenberg  wrote  to  his  wife :  "  As  I  stand  at  my  win- 
dow and  reflect  that  I  have  opposed  to  me  one  of  the  greatest  gen- 
erals of  our  times,  the  veritable  emperor  of  battles,  it  seems  as  if 
my  shoulders  were  too  weak  and  that  they  must  succumb  under  this 
terrible  burden.  But  when  I  look  at  the  stars  I  say  to  myself  that 
He  who  directs  their  course  has  likewise  traced  my  path.  If  it  is 
His  wish  that  right  shall  triumph.  His  wisdom  will  give  me  light 
and  strength.  If  it  is  the  will  of  Providence  that  we  should  suc- 
cumb, my  personal  loss  will  be  the  least  of  all  our  misfortunes. 
Whether  defeat  or  victory  is  ours,  I  have  already  conquered  all 
self-conceit,  and  the  judgment  of  the  world  will  bring  me  neither 
reward  nor  punishment."     From  the  very  beginning  of  the  battle 



of  Leipzig  Napoleon  saw  the  merit  of  Schwarzenberg.  "  It  was  I," 
he  said  to  the  Austrian  General  Merveldt,  who  had  been  brought  to 
him  as  a  prisoner,  "  it  was  I  who  first  drew  the  attention  of  your 
sovereign  to  Schwarzenberg.  If  he  is  going  to  beat  me,  he  is  cer- 
tainly going  about  it  in  the  right  way."  He  sent  Merveldt  back  to 
propose  an  armistice  on  the  basis  that  the  Austrians  were  to  re- 
tire into  Bohemia,  the  Prussians  and  Russians  behind  the  Oder, 
the  French  behind  the  Saale,  and  Saxony  was  to  remain  neutral. 
But  it  was  too  late.  Francis  declined  to  receive  the  overtures  of 
Napoleon,  and  the  victory  which  followed  justified  his  decision. 
After  the  battle  the  emperor  conferred  the  grand  cross  of  the  Order 
of  Maria  Theresa  upon  Schwarzenberg,  the  field-marshal  present- 
ing his  commander's  cross  to  Radetzky,  saying,  "  Loudon  wore  it, 
and  I  cannot  give  it  to  one  more  worthy."  Nor  was  the  diplomat 
who  brought  about  the  coalition  forgotten  in  the  distribution  of 
imperial  favors.  To  Mettemich  was  granted  the  title  of  hereditary 
prince.  The  Austrians  also  took  part  in  the  battle  of  Hanau,  in 
which  they  tried,  with  the  help  of  the  Bavarians,  to  cut  off  the  retreat 
of  Napoleon.  One  by  one  the  states  belonging  to  the  Federation  of 
the  Rhine,  Wurtemberg,  and  Hesse-Darmstadt  joined  the  coali- 
tion. Francis  II.  entered  the  town  of  Frankfort,  where  twenty 
years  before  he  had  received  the  imperial  crown,  and  where 
Schwarzenberg  now  established  his  headquarters. 

The  allied  armies  were  now  on  the  borders  of  France,  and  Met- 
temich, desiring  to  keep  the  humiliation  of  Napoleon  from  being 
carried  too  far,  tried  to  open  negotiations  in  Frankfort.  He  sent 
for  the  French  minister  at  the  court  of  Weimar  and  dictated  to 
him  the  terms  on  which  a  treaty  might  still  be  arranged.  France 
was  to  surrender  Holland,  Italy,  and  Switzerland,  and  to  accept  the 
natural  frontier  of  the  Pyrenees,  the  Alps,  and  the  Rhine  as  her 
boundary.  To  these  propositions  Napoleon  replied  in  vague  and  in- 
definite terms,  proposing  a  conference  at  Mannheim  for  Novem- 
ber. This  the  allies,  encouraged  by  their  recent  success,  particularly 
in  Spain  and  Holland,  declined  to  entertain,  and  it  was  decided  to 
march  upon  Paris.  Nevertheless  even  in  the  thick  of  the  first  con- 
flict of  the  campaign  in  France,  negotiations  between  Metternich 
and  Caulaincourt  continued.  A  congress  early  in  February  of 
1814  at  Chatillon-sur-Seine  resulted  in  the  demand  by  the  allies 
that  France  should  return  to  her  limits  of  1790.  Napoleon,  in- 
toxicated by  a  few  temporary  triumphs,  endeavored  to  enter  into 

FRANCIS     II  811 


direct  negotiations  with  Francis,  offering  to  divide  the  empire  of 
Europe  with  him.  He  beHeved  that  victory  had  again  returned  to 
his  banner.  "  I  am  nearer  Vienna  than  the  alHes  are  to  Paris !  "  he 
exclaimed  in  his  arrogance.  His  overtures  were  rejected,  and  on 
March  i  the  representatives  of  the  allies — Metternich,  Nesselrode, 
Hardenberg,  and  Castlereagh — signed  the  Treaty  of  Chaumont, 
in  which  the  powers  agreed  not  to  lay  down  their  arms  until  they 
had  restored  the  peace  and  liberty  of  Europe.  This  treaty  was  to 
last  for  twenty  years.  None  of  the  signatory  powers  was  to 
make  peace  on  its  own  account.  The  congress  at  Chatillon  broke 
up  without  coming  to  any  definite  conclusion,  and  Schwarzenberg 
decided  to  march  directly  upon  Paris.  On  March  30  the  allies 
entered  the  French  capital,  their  success  being  due  to  the  wise 
temerity  of  Schwarzenberg.  Napoleon  once  said  to  the  Austrian 
Koller,  who  accompanied  him  to  the  island  of  Elba :  "  An  ordinary 
general  would  have  been  anxious  over  his  return,  and  would  have 
worried  over  his  lines  of  communications;  a  good  general  would 
do  nothing  but  just  what  Schwarzenberg  did.  I  knew  that  he  was 
capable  of  doing  this,  but  I  expected  him  to  solicit  the  advice  of  the 
sovereigns  and  that  he  would  thus  allow  the  favorable  moment  to 
escape."  Bliicher  confirmed  the  judgment  of  Napoleon  when,  some 
time  later,  during  a  visit  to  Carlsbad,  he  drank  "  to  the  hero  who 
in  spite  of  the  presence  of  three  monarchs  led  us  to  victory."  The 
courts  of  Europe  loaded  the  happy  conqueror  of  Paris  with  every 
distinction.  The  city  of  London  voted  him  a  sword  of  honor,  the 
University  of  Oxford  made  him  a  doctor  of  civil  law,  Bohemia 
erected  a  statue  to  him,  and  the  Emperor  Francis  granted  him  a 
permission  to  quarter  the  arms  of  the  house  of  Austria  with 
his  own. 

Francis  II.  did  not  enter  Paris  with  his  two  allies,  but  he 
gave  his  consent  to  their  arranging  the  affairs  of  his  son-in-law 
and  daughter,  not  allowing  his  feelings  to  interfere  in  matters  of 
state.  When  he  reached  Paris,  on  April  15,  the  Treaty  of  Fon- 
tainebleau  had  already  been  signed.  By  this  treaty  the  island 
of  Elba  was  given  to  Napoleon,  and  Parma,  Piecenza,  and  Guas- 
talla  to  Marie  Louise,  the  daughter  of  the  Caesars  not  caring  to  ac- 
company her  husband  into  exile. 

In  Italy  Eugene  at  Rome  and  Murat  at  Naples,  both  creatures 
of  Napoleon,  were  unable  to  maintain  themselves  against  the  coali- 
tion.    While  Eugene  was  fighting  the  Austrians  on  the  Adige, 



Murat  tried  to  establish  his  authority  throughout  all  central  Italy, 
but  the  English  and  Austrians  seized  Tuscany,  and  the  latter  en- 
tered Milan.  Two  months  later  the  Treaty  of  Paris  gave  Italy 
north  of  the  Po  and  east  of  the  Ticino  to  Austria,  and  thenceforward 
Austria  gradually  assumed  the  role  of  policeman  in  favor  of  legiti- 
macy throughout  all  the  peninsula.  Austrian  troops  reestablished 
Francis  IV.  on  the  throne  of  Modena  and  Reggio,  Ferdinand  in 
Tuscany,  and  Ferdinand  IV.  in  the  kingdom  of  the  Two  Sicilies. 
But  the  story  of  Austrian  domination  in  Italy  does  not  enter  into 
the  scope  of  this  work. 

On  May  3,  1814,  Louis  XVIII.  entered  Paris;  the  war  was 
over;  Schwarzenberg  laid  down  his  command,  and  the  work  of 
diplomacy  commenced.  It  was  no  easy  matter  to  come  to  an  agree- 
ment over  the  partition  of  the  spoil.  From  the  outset  it  had  been 
agreed  that  the  grand  duchy  of  Warsaw  should  be  divided  among 
the  three  eastern  monarchs,  but  now  Alexander,  who  coveted  all 
of  Poland,  raised  objections,  and  won  over  Prussia  to  his  side  by 
promising  her  Saxony.  In  the  diplomatic  negotiations  which  re- 
sulted Mettemich  showed  much  cleverness  and  perseverance  in 
defending  the  interests  of  his  sovereign.  He  induced  the  powers  to 
arrange  the  terms  of  peace  with  France,  and  then  postponed  all 
other  questions  till  a  congress  could  be  called  at  Vienna. 

In  the  month  of  September,  1814,  Vienna  became  the  ren- 
dezvous of  the  crowned  heads  of  Europe.  The  kings  of  Wiirtem- 
berg,  Denmark,  Bavaria,  and  Prussia,  and  the  emperor  of  Russia 
all  attended  the  congress,  at  which  festivities  were  throughout  more 
in  evidence  than  business.  The  words  of  the  Prince  de  Ligne,  "  Le 
congris  tie  marche  pas,  il  danse,"  are  well  known.  The  first  anni- 
versary of  the  battle  of  Leipzig  was  celebrated  by  a  gigantic  review, 
at  which  Alexander  paid  solemn  homage  to  the  military  skill  of 
Schwarzenberg.  "  It  is  to  you,  after  God,"  said  he,  "  that  we  owe 
our  success."  The  preliminary  arrangements  were  not  easy.  The 
question  of  Poland  gave  the  diplomats  much  embarrassment,  and 
caused  more  than  one  disagreement.  Mettemich,  although  sup- 
ported by  Castlereagh  and  Talleyrand,  had  to  withstand  much 
violent  opposition  in  the  preliminary  congress.  But  it  was  never 
a  real  congress,  rather  a  succession  of  committees  where  questions 
which  affected  particular  countries  were  discussed  by  the  representa- 
tives of  those  countries.  The  subjects  of  discussion  were  not 
merely  those  which  had  resulted  from  the  great  war  against  Na- 






poleon,  but  included  also  such  general  questions  as  the  navigation 
of  the  rivers  of  central  Europe,  the  slave  trade,  and  the  pirates  of  the 
Mediterranean.  The  congress  was  divided  into  a  number  of  sec- 
tions and  was  looked  upon  as  if  it  were  a  European  tribunal,  before 
which  all  who  had  suffered  in  the  revolution  might  come  to  demand 
redress  for  their  injuries.  The  Order  of  the  Knights  of  St.  John 
appealed  to  it  for  the  restoration  of  the  island  of  Malta,  which  they 
lost  twenty  years  previous,  while  all  the  petty  princes  of  Germany 
urged  their  claims  upon  the  congress. 

But  the  great  stumbling-block  was  the  Polish  question,  and  on 
more  than  one  occasion  it  threatened  to  break  up  the  congress. 
Russia  had  taken  possession  of  the  grand  duchy  of  Warsaw  and 
treated  it  as  conquered  territory.  At  one  time  it  looked  as  if  the 
negotiations  must  break  up,  Austria,  England,  and  France  even 
going  to  the  extent  of  forming  an  alliance  against  the  pretensions 
of  Russia  and  Prussia.  At  last  Nesselrode  worked  out  a  plan 
which  seemed  to  satisfy  all,  and  according  to  which  Poland  was 
divided  much  as  she  is  now.  The  serious  difficulties  over  the 
claims  of  the  king  of  Prussia,  who  demanded  Saxony,  which  Aus- 
tria and  France  would  not  consent  to,  were  also  adjusted.  A  com- 
mittee was  appointed,  consisting  of  the  representatives  of  Austria, 
France,  England,  Russia,  and  Prussia,  to  settle  the  disputed  points. 
This  committee  became  the  real  congress.  Indeed,  it  was  the  begin- 
ning of  that  system  of  the  five  great  powers  which  directed  the  des- 
tinies of  modern  Europe  for  a  quarter  of  a  century  after  the 
congress.  This  committee  induced  Prussia  to  renounce  most  of  her 
claims  to  Saxony,  and  arranged  the  final  partition  of  Poland. 

It  was  in  the  midst  of  these  negotiations  and  festivities  that 
Vienna  received  the  news,  on  March  4,  that  Napoleon  had 
landed  on  the  coast  of  Provence.  By  a  strange  coincidence  the 
very  evening  that  the  news  arrived  a  comedy  entitled  "  The  Inter- 
rupted Dance  "  was  being  played  at  the  court  theater.  The  Aus- 
trian troops  were  at  once  ordered  to  take  up  their  march  toward 
France,  and  a  few  days  later  it  was  publicly  declared  that  Napoleon 
Bonaparte,  having  violated  all  law,  was  an  enemy  to  the  public 
peace,  and  placed  under  the  ban  of  the  nations. 

On  March  25  the  allies  renewed  the  Treaty  of  Chaumont, 
and  declared  themselves  resolved  to  carry  on  the  war  until  Na- 
poleon should  be  deprived  of  all  power.  The  plan  of  campaign  was 
worked  out  at  the  house  of  Schwarzenberg,  the  sovereigns  of  Rus- 



sia  and  Prussia  and  the  Duke  of  Wellington  taking  part.  Three 
g^-eat  armies  were  formed,  one  in  the  Low  Countries  under  Wel- 
lington and  Bliicher,  comprised  of  English,  Dutch,  and  Prussians; 
one  on  the  Rhine  under  Schwarzenberg,  including  the  Austrians, 
Russians,  and  Germans;  and  an  Austrian  army  in  Italy  to  check 
Murat,  who  was  advancing  with  80,000  men.  While  the  armies 
of  the  coalition  marched  against  Napoleon,  Marie  Louise  remained 
quietly  at  Schonbrunn.  This  commonplace  princess  merits  very 
little  attention  from  the  historian;  unfaithful  to  her  husband  even 
during  his  lifetime,  she  died  in  1847,  the  dupe  of  Mettemich's 
policy  and  the  willing  accomplice  of  Neipperg.  The  war  did  not 
seriously  interrupt  the  negotiations  of  the  congress;  indeed,  the 
arrival  of  Napoleon  rather  served  to  hasten  a  final  settlement.  On 
May  3  the  treaties  regarding  the  final  partition  of  Poland  were 
signed.  In  June  the  constitution  of  Germany  was  drawn  up,  and 
on  June  1 1  the  sittings  of  the  congress  terminated.  The  war  began 
in  Italy  in  the  month  of  April,  when  Murat  advanced  into  the  Po 
valley  and  was  defeated  by  the  imperial  troops  at  Rimini,  at  Anco, 
and  at  Solentino.  He  fled  to  Naples,  whither  he  was  pursued 
by  the  Austrians  and  forced  to  take  refuge  in  France.  On  the 
Rhine  the  Austrian  troops  found  but  little  to  do.  They  entered 
Alsace,  took  Huningue,  and  held  the  small  army  of  Rapp  in  check 
at  Strassburg.  On  June  30  the  allied  monarchs  took  up  their  quar- 
ters at  Hagenau,  where  they  received  a  deputation  from  the  French, 
headed  by  Lafayette.  He  was  told  that  no  steps  toward  peace 
could  be  taken  until  Napoleon  had  been  surrendered  to  the  allies. 
The  main  body  of  the  army  of  Schwarzenberg  then  marched  upon 
Paris,  which  he  entered,  this  time  without  resistance.  No  Austrian 
fought  at  Waterloo  on  the  memorable  day  of  June  18,  where  the 
last  hopes  of  Napoleon  were  dashed.  On  November  20,  181 5,  the 
second  Treaty  of  Paris  was  signed,  by  which  France  was  required 
to  pay  an  indemnity  of  700,000,000  francs  and  to  submit  to  the 
frontiers  of  1790  and  the  occupation  of  her  eastern  provinces  by 
150,000  men  for  a  period  of  five  years. 

It  may  well  be  asked  what  were  the  results  of  so  many  battles 
and  so  much  diplomacy.  No  other  of  the  Hapsburg  dynasty  had 
passed  through  such  a  series  of  reverses  and  triumphs.  Four  times 
Francis  II.  had  had  to  accept  humiliating  peace  from  his  arrogant 
conqueror:  twice  he  had  seen  the  enemy  enter  his  capital,  and  he 
had  lost  the  Low  Countries,  the  lands  in  Suabia,  and  the  duchy  of 

FRANCIS    II  816 


Milan,  receiving  in  compensation  Venice,  Dalmatia,  Salzburg,  and 
western  Galicia — only  to  lose  them  again.  He  had  had  even  to 
sacrifice  the  hereditary  provinces,  the  loyal  Tyrol,  Istria,  Triest, 
Gorica,  half  of  Carinthia,  Camiola,  and  a  part  of  Croatia.  He  had 
had  to  surrender  that  imperial  crown  which  had  been  for  cen- 
turies the  ornament  and  glory  of  his  house.  And  yet  after  the 
Treaty  of  Vienna  he  found  himself  in  possession  of  a  more  vigorous 
and  more  compact  empire  than  before  the  Revolution;  while  his 
army  and  diplomacy  excited  the  envy  and  admiration  of  Europe. 
He  had  the  hegemony  both  in  Germany  and  in  Italy,  the  younger 
branches  of  the  house  of  Hapsburg-Lorraine  having  been  reestab- 
lished in  Tuscany  and  Modena.  The  Empress  Marie  Louise  was 
to  have  Parma,  Guastalla,  and  Piacenza  for  life.  In  Germany, 
Austria  regained  all  which  had  been  taken  from  her  by  Bavaria, 
with  the  exception  of  Wurzburg  and  Aschaffenburg.  She  had 
given  up  the  troublesome  possessions  of  the  Low  Countries,  the 
Breisgau,  Suabia,  and  western  Galicia.  To  sum  up,  in  place  of 
24,000,000  inhabitants  in  1792,  scattered  from  the  North  Sea  to 
the  Danube,  over  an  area  of  266,000  square  miles,  she  now  had 
28,000,000  on  a  compact  area  of  277,637  square  miles.  Every 
portion  of  the  empire  was  contiguous,  except  at  one  comer,  where 
the  Turkish  districts  of  Klek  and  the  Sutorina  interrupted  the  coast 
line  of  the  Dalmatian  possessions.  The  empire  of  Austria  now 
included  five  kingdoms  of  different  origin,  Bohemia,  Hungary, 
Galicia,  Illyria,  and  the  Lombardo-Venetia. 

Francis  II.  had  declined  all  proposals  to  assume  again  the 
imperial  crown  of  Grermany,  but  he  by  no  means  wished  to  give 
up  his  position  in  the  German  world.  It  was  Austria  which  had 
made  Germany,  it  was  at  Vienna  that  the  final  reconstruction  of  the 
German  states  had  been  made,  and  in  exchange  for  these  services 
Metternich  successfully  claimed  that  his  monarch  should  be  presi- 
dent of  the  diet  of  the  Confederation  of  German  states  at  Frank- 
fort. But  in  order  that  Austrian  domination  should  be  successfully 
maintained  in  Germany,  it  was  necessary  that  the  largest  possible 
number  of  her  subjects  should  belong  to  the  Confederation.  Fran- 
cis therefore  declared  that  all  of  his  provinces  which  had  at  any 
time  belonged  to  the  Holy  Roman  Empire  were  now  included  in 
the  Germanic  Confederation.  Of  these  provinces  only  Austria, 
Salzburg,  the  northern  Tyrol,  and  Vorarlberg,  containing  at  the 
most  three  or  four  millions  of  people,  were  purely  German.     In 



order  to  make  up  the  needful  number  these  were  augmented  by 
the  addition  of  Bohemia,  two-thirds  of  whose  population  was  Slav ; 
Moravia,  with  four-fifths  of  hers  Slav;  Styria,  one-half  Slovene; 
Carinthia,  Camiola,  Gorica,  and  Gradiska  entirely  so;  Istria  and 
Triest,  half  Slovene,  half  Italian ;  the  southern  or  Italian  Tyrol ;  Aus- 
trian Silesia,  half  Slav;  and  the  Polish  duchies  of  Auschwitz  and 
Zator,  in  Galicia.  Thus  by  her  diplomatic  triumph  Austria  forced 
six  or  seven  millions  of  pseudo-Germans  into  the  Germanic  Confed- 
eration, and  from  the  point  of  view  of  numbers  made  a  good  showing 
at  Frankfort.  In  order  to  justify  her  pretensions  as  a  German 
power  she  had  to  work  harder  than  ever  to  Germanize  her  people, 
and  in  so  doing  opposed  the  natural  development  of  their  genius 
and  political  freedom.  But  the  extension  of  her  influence  in  Ger- 
many and  the  consolidation  of  her  territory  was  not  the  only  result 
of  the  twenty  years'  war.  Her  internal  organization  had  been 
greatly  strengthened  by  the  creation  of  an  army  such  as  had  been 
unknown  in  the  days  of  Joseph  II.  or  Maria  Theresa.  There 
had  been  developed  in  this  army  the  spirit  of  discipline  and 
brotherhood  in  arms  which  had  drawn  together  and  inspired  with 
the  same  feelings  those  of  the  most  diverse  lands — Germans,  Slavs, 
and  Magyars.  And  this  army  was  to  be  on  more  than  one  occa- 
sion the  bulwark  of  the  empire;  to  enforce  that  obedience,  which 
comes  from  fear,  or  all  sorts  of  peoples,  and  to  spread  ideas  of 
fidelity  to  the  flag  and  to  the  monarchical  principle  which  has  given 
new  vigor  to  the  Austrian  empire.  But  in  spite  of  this  the  govern- 
ment has  not  succeeded  in  stifling  the  aspirations  of  the  various 
states  for  liberty  and  national  autonomy,  for  the  realization  of  their 
historic  rights,  always  ignored  by  the  sovereign,  but  always  claimed 
by  the  people. 



ALITIES.   1815-1848 

f  1 



J    ■ 

Chapter    XXV 

FRANCIS    II   AND   METTERNICH.     1815-1835 

THE  treaties  of  181 5  seemed  to  have  brought  to  an  end  the 
era  of  revolution.  The  years  which  followed  mark  a 
period  of  implacable  reaction,  in  which  the  sovereigns  of 
Europe,  rejoicing  over  the  fact  that  tHey  had  rescued  their  crowns 
and  their  lands  from  the  Revolution,  united  in  a  common  effort  to 
resist  the  ideas  of  1789. 

Among  those  princes  who  undertook  to  lead  his  subjects  back 
to  the  doctrines  of  the  old  regime  none  was  more  zealous  than 
Francis  II,,  and  none  was  so  ably  served  in  this  respect  as  he, 
in  his  chancellor,  Prince  Mettemich.  Francis  II.  had  a  common- 
place mind  and  a  mean  character.  He  had  no  capacity  for  under- 
standing great  things,  and  attached  an  undue  importance  to  trivial 
ones.  He  had  a  passion  for  writing  documents  and  for  holding 
audiences.  Fond  of  games  and  chamber  concerts,  in  which  he 
liked  to  take  part  himself,  he  was  always,  says  Springer,  on  the 
lookout  for  anyone  who  would  be  of  use  as  a  member  of  the 
quartet.  He  was  envious  of  anyone  who,  like  the  Archduke  Charles 
or  Radetzky,  had  won  the  popular  favor  by  his  services.  On  one 
occasion,  in  a  fit  of  suspicious  jealousy,  he  went  even  so  far  as  to 
have  the  private  locks  of  the  archduke  broken  open.  This  same 
characteristic  sometimes  drove  him  to  act  with  extreme  cruelty. 
In  1820  a  riot  took  place  among  the  students  at  Prague,  and, 
being  unable  to  find  the  culprit,  he  compelled  all  those  who  had  had 
bad  marks  to  enlist  in  the  army.  A  harsh  selfishness  was  the  nautral 
consequence  of  his  theory  of  absolutism,  which  led  him  to  look 
upon  his  people  and  provinces  as  if  they  were  his  private  property. 
Like  his  predecessors,  however,  he  knew  how  to  clothe  his  despot- 
ism in  patriarchal  form,  which  always  pleased  the  simple  people. 
In  the  absence  of  representative  government  an  inquisitorial  police 
acted  as  an  agent  between  the  sovereign  and  his  subjects.  Like 
Louis  XV.,  he  took  much  pleasure  in  scandal,  using  it  both  as  a 
means  of  diversion  and  an  instrument  of  government.    In  his  eyes 


I J 



the  monarchy  had  no  better  support  than  Catholicism;  he  be- 
lieved that  Josephinism  in  attacking  religion  was  undermining  the 
monarchy.  In  1821  he  addressed  the  president  of  the  gymnasium 
at  Laibach  as  follows :  "  Hold  to  that  which  is  old,  for  that  is 
good;  if  our  ancestors  were  pleased  with  it  to  be  so,  why  not  we? 
New  ideas  are  to-day  being  advanced  of  which  I  do  not  nor  ever 
shall  approve.  Hold  them  in  suspicion  and  keep  to  that  which  is 
approved.  I  have  no  need  of  learned  men ;  I  want  faithful  subjects. 
Be  such !  that  is  your  duty ;  he  who  would  serve  me  must  do  what 
I  command.  He  who  cannot  do  this,  or  who  comes  with  new 
ideas,  may  leave  us;  if  not,  I  shall  send  him,"  On  another  occasion 
he  said  to  the  French  ambassador:  "My  peoples  are  strangers  to 
one  another;  so  much  the  better.  They  will  not  catch  the  same  ill- 
ness at  the  same  time.  In  France  when  a  fever  comes,  it  takes  you 
all  on  the  same  day.  I  send  Hungarians  to  Italy  and  Italians  to 
Hungary,  and  each  one  looks  after  his  neighbor.  They  do  not 
understand  each  other,  they  hate  one  another:  but  this  very  an- 
tipathy gives  birth  to  order,  and  their  mutual  hatred  secures  the 
general  peace." 

With  principles  such  as  these  the  emperor  did  his  utmost  to 
make  his  empire  secure  against  ideas  of  science  and  thought  from 
abroad.  The  censorship  of  the  press  was  ruthlessly  applied,  and 
literature  was  regarded  as  dangerous.  Some  remarkable  men,  it 
is  true,  had  been  taken  into  the  Austrian  service,  as,  for  example, 
Gentz,  Frederick  Schlegel,  and  Adam  Miiller;  but  their  works  as 
publicists  were  intended  for  foreigners,  and  were  almost  unknown 
in  Austria.  Men  of  talent,  and  they  were  few,  were  regarded  with 
suspicion;  only  one  man,  and  he  Metternich,  succeeded  in  gaining 
the  complete  confidence  of  the  emperor.  The  period  of  wars  had 
come  to  an  end,  and  Francis  no  longer  had  need  of  his  generals; 
but  the  precarious  state  of  Europe  still  assured  a  diplomat  who 
had  negotiated  the  treaties  of  Vienna  a  first  place  in  the  councils 
of  his  sovereign.  It  is  true  Metternich  did  not  interfere  with  the 
internal  administration  of  Austria,  but  his  foreign  policy  reacted 
strongly  on  the  home  policy.  A  foreigner  by  birth,  Metternich 
knew  very  little  of  the  history  of  the  states  over  which  his  sovereign 
ruled,  and  cared  only  indifferently  about  Austria's  internal  prob- 
lems, so  inherent  in  the  history  and  ethnographic  make-up  of  the 
empire.  A  man  of  the  eighteenth  century,  he  despised  history,  and 
had  no  inkling  of  the  smoldering  flames  of  revolution  beneath  the 

FRANCIS     II     AND     METTERNICH       321 


surface  of  the  confused  discontent  and  agitation  about  him.  He 
owed  his  high  position  and  the  continuance  of  his  good  fortune  less 
to  his  talent  than  to  his  tenacity  of  purpose  and  to  a  happy  set  of 
circumstances.  He  fell  heir  to  the  victories  of  Austria  in  1813- 
181 5.  An  obsequious  flatterer,  he  was  fortunate  in  having  to  deal 
with  two  monarchs  who  were  too  weak  to  do  without  him,  and  who 
therefore  submitted  foreign  affairs  entirely  to  his  keeping.  "  Fran- 
cis and  Metternich,"  says  the  German  historian  Springer,  "  were 
the  complements  of  each  other.  Metternich  knew  nothing  about 
the  details  of  government,  and  never  interfered  in  them ;  while  the 
emperor,  on  the  contrary,  attached  the  greatest  importance  to  them. 
Francis  had  entered  into  an  agreement  to  maintain  order  and  had 
determined  to  carry  out  his  engagement  by  maintaining  a  state  of 
perfect  tranquillity  in  his  own  empire.  Metternich  insisted  on  the 
passive  obedience  of  all  Austrian  countries,  in  order  to  be  able  to 
employ  the  whole  powers  of  the  empire  abroad.  For  the  former 
absolutism  was  a  matter  of  sentiment;  for  the  latter  of  reason,  and, 
thanks  to  their  egotism,  they  confused  the  good  of  the  state  with 
their  own  personal  interests.  They  believed  the  interests  of  the 
state  satisfied  if  their  own  interests  were,  and  in  time  regarded  the 
political  conspirator  as  no  better  than  a  parricide.  Neither  one 
had  the  slightest  feeling  of  responsibility  as  stewards  of  the  na- 
tional resources." 

Nor  can  it  be  said  that  Mettemich's  devotion  was  altogether 
disinterested.  He  was  not  above  receiving  subsidies  from  foreign 
princes,  and  managed  the  public  funds  in  a  manner  that  showed 
that  he  did  not  believe  an  account  could  ever  be  required  of  him. 
His  gallantries  on  more  than  one  occasion  scandalized  the  good  town 
of  Vienna,  that  luxurious  and  corrupt  city  in  which,  according  to 
the  saying  of  a  contemporary,  the  life  of  the  inhabitants  resembled 
that  of  hibernating  animals.  Indeed,  in  all  of  the  Austrian  states 
Metternich  aimed  to  keep  the  people  completely  in  a  condition  of 
tutelage,  while  abroad  he  sought  to  maintain  the  prestige  and 
leadership  which  her  military  successes  and  her  diplomacy  had 
secured  to  her. 

Metternich  and  his  sovereign  set  about  to  act  as  the  police 
of  Europe.  To  their  eyes  revolutions,  wherever  they  might  occur, 
threatened  Austria  herself.  Because  of  her  German,  Italian,  and 
Polish  possessions,  Austria  more  than  any  other  state  was  in  dan- 
ger of  the  contagion  of  liberalism.     As  early  as  181 5  the  Italians 




began  that  secret  war  of  conspiracies  and  secret  societies  which 
ended,  after  so  many  years  of  painful  struggle,  in  the  regeneration 
of  their  country.  In  Germany  generous  spirits,  especially  among 
the  students  and  the  more  enlightened,  demanded  intellectual  free- 
dom and  constitutional  government.  In  1819  the  sovereigns  of 
Austria  and  Prussia  decided  to  put  an  end  to  all  these  dangerous 
demands  and  manifestations,  and  drew  up  the  famous  Carlsbad 


C        AUSTRIA 
m 181  B-r 

Decrees  for  the  suppression  of  liberalism.  In  1820  the  king  of 
Naples,  yielding  to  a  military  insurrection,  granted  a  constitution 
to  his  subjects.  A  congress  was  called  at  Troppau,  in  1820,  and  then 
at  Laibach  in  1821,  to  discuss  methods  for  the  suppression  of  the 
revolutionary  spirit  in  Italy.  This  time  Russia  joined  the  two  reac- 
tionary powers.  Together  they  set  up  the  claim  to  a  right  to  regu- 
late the  affairs  of  the  Italian  states,  despite  the  protests  of  England 
and  France.    The  king  of  Naples  appeared  before  the  congress  at 

FRANCIS     II     AND     METTERNICH       323 


Laibach  and  renounced  the  concessions  he  had  made.  An  Austrian 
army  accompanied  him  back  to  Naples  and  restored  him  to  all  his 
absolute  power.  Some  days  later  a  similar  movement  was  sup- 
pressed by  an  Austrian  army  in  Piedmont,  the  armies  of  occupa- 
tion remaining  in  both  kingdoms.  About  the  same  time  the  gentle 
and  lovable  Silvio  Pellico,  guilty  of  patriotism,  was  thrown  into 
the  Spielberg  dungeon.  His  book,  "/  miei  Prigioni,"  ("My 
Prison  Day  " ) ,  translated  a  hundred  times,  and  read  throughout 
Europe,  remains  to  this  day  as  the  most  formidable  indictment  of 
Austrian  rule  in  Italy. 

Francis  II.  rewarded  his  minister  by  granting  him  for  these 
ill-omened  successes  the  title  of  chancellor  of  the  empire.  "  Eu- 
rope," said  a  contemporary,  "  praises,  envies,  or  curses  the  power 
of  Austria,  but  never  thinks  of  the  Austrian  people.  They  think 
only  of  the  prince  and  his  minister."  Metternich  on  his  part  was 
jubilant.  "  See  what  a  revolution  is  w^hen  taken  in  time,"  he  once 
exclaimed  to  the  emperor  of  Russia.  Thenceforth  he  thought  all 
the  affairs  of  Europe  could  be  managed  in  congresses,  in  which  Aus- 
tria was  naturally  to  take  the  leading  part.  The  congress  of 
Verona,  in  1822,  was  called  with  the  special  purpose  of  considering 
the  Spanish  revolution,  and  this  time  the  France  of  the  Restoration 
became  the  instrument  of  the  Austrian  policy,  and  secured  the  dis- 
creditable honor  of  carrying  out  the  decrees  of  the  Holy  Alliance 
against  Spain.  This  congress  also  decided  that  Austria  should 
evacuate  Piedmont  and  maintain  only  a  small  garrison  in  Naples. 
In  both  states  the  reaction  had  been  terrible,  and  Austria  became  an 
object  of  horror  to  the  Italians.  The  cry,  "  Away  with  the  Grer- 
mans !  "  became  the  watchword  of  the  patriots.  These  Germans 
were  for  the  most  part  Magyars,  Slavs,  Slovenes,  Servians,  Poles, 
and  Czechs,  the  unconscious  instruments  of  a  policy  of  oppression 
of  which  they  were  themselves  also  the  victims. 

The  friendly  relation  between  Austria  and  Russia,  mani- 
fested in  so  many  common  undertakings  during  the  Napoleonic 
period,  was  now  to  reveal  itself  again  in  connection  with  the  East- 
em  Question,  which  has  so  long  perplexed  European  diplomats. 
The  prelude  to  the  Greek  revolution  was  beginning  to  attract  gen- 
eral attention  by  1820.  The  conflicts  which  the  Austrian  state 
had  carried  on  against  the  Porte,  her  geographic  position  on  the 
borders  of  the  Turkish  empire,  and  her  ethnographic  constitution, 
all  seemed  to  point  out  Austria  as  the  protectress  of  the  Chris- 



tians  of  Turkey  and  the  possessor  of  those  provinces  which  might 
revolt.  The  successor  to  the  kings  of  Hungary  might  invoke 
claims  to  Bosnia  and  Bulgaria  less  hypothetical  than  those  which 
had  recently  been  made  use  of  in  regard  to  Galicia.  Unfortunately, 
during  the  centuries  which  had  preceded,  Austria  had  been  too 
much  occupied  in  Germany  to  look  after  her  affairs  in  the  East, 
where  her  statesmen  should  have  seen  her  paramount  interests. 
Joseph  II.  had  announced  that  he  would  curb  the  barbarians  who 
had  been  the  curse  of  Europe  for  so  long,  but  he  died  before  he 
could  carry  out  his  project,  and  while  the  Austrian  state  was  ab- 
sorbed in  its  struggles  with  the  French  Revolution,  the  influence 
of  Russia  steadily  increased  in  the  Balkan  peninsula,  where  the 
people  were  not  only  one  with  her  in  race,  but  also  in  religion. 

In  the  beginning  of  the  nineteenth  century  the  Servians  had 
risen,  driven  out  the  Turks,  and  formed  an  independent  principality 
on  the  frontier  of  Hungary  (1804-1815).  A  little  later  the  Greeks, 
concentrated  in  ancient  Hellas  or  dispersed  along  the  coast  from 
the  JEgea.n  to  the  Danube,  began  to  dream  of  freedom.  Metter- 
nich  and  his  master  did  not  feel  equal  to  carrying  out  the  projects  of 
Joseph  II.,  and  they  were  accustomed  to  regard  as  enemies  all 
people  who  dared  to  think  of  their  independence.  At  the  congress 
of  Laibach  Mettemich  took  great  pains  .to  convince  the  Tsar  of  the 
dangers  of  the  revolutionary  movements. 

The  official  gazette  of  Vienna  ostentatiously  announced  on 
March  29,  1821,  that  the  Emperor  Alexander  did  not  in  the  slight- 
est degree  approve  of  the  adventures  of  Prince  Ypsilanti,  that  he 
had  expelled  this  revolutionist  from  the  Russian  army,  and  had 
disavowed  his  enterprise  at  the  court  of  Constantinople.  Indeed, 
the  court  of  Vienna  showed  in  a  much  more  direct  way  its  senti- 
ments regarding  Turkey  and  the  Greeks.  When  Ypsilanti  crossed 
the  frontier  into  Transylvania  he  was  promptly  seized  and  thrown 
into  prison,  while  most  of  his  accomplices  were  interned  (1821). 
Mettemich  saw  in  the  Greek  revolution  only  a  revolt  of  subjects 
against  their  legitimate  sovereign,  and  gave  a  deaf  ear  to  the  ad- 
vocates of  the  cause  of  the  Greeks.  Among  these,  many  thought 
that  Austria  might,  by  taking  part  in  the  expulsion  of  the  Turks, 
play  the  glorious  role  of  liberator  of  the  oppressed,  and  create  for 
herself  a  strong  marine  on  the  Mediterranean.  That  Mettemich's 
opposition  to  the  Greeks  was  based  partly,  at  least,  on  a  fear  of  Rus- 
sia must  be  admitted.  He  endeavored  above  all  to  bring  about  a  cor- 

FRANCIS     II     AND     METTERNICH       S25 


dial  understanding-  between  Austria  and  England.  In  a  journey 
to  Hanover  in  1821  he  had  an  interview  with  Castlereagh,  and 
assured  himself  of  his  cooperation.  England  was  to  use  her  in- 
fluence at  St.  Petersburg,  and  Austria  at  Constantinople,  to  bring 
about  moderation  and  peace.  Alexander  at  first  yielded,  and  the 
Greek  envoys  who  appeared  at  the  congress  of  Verona  were  not 
granted  an  audience.  In  1823  the  two  sovereigns  met  at  Lemberg, 
while  Mettemich  had  an  extended  interview  with  Nesselrode.  The 
continued  success  of  the  Greeks,  however,  greatly  interfered 
with  the  Austrian  chancellor's  plan  for  pacification.  On  the  other 
hand,  Alexander,  despite  the  overweening  influence  exercised  over 
him  by  Mettemich,  was  unable  to  overcome  either  the  interests  of 
Russia  or  his  romantic  humanitarian  ideas.  In  1824  a  conference 
was  held  at  St.  Petersburg  for  the  purpose  of  pacifying  Greece. 
Austria  participated  in  the  deliberations,  but  her  policy  was  di- 
rected toward  delaying  matters  and  preventing  a  definite  solution. 
The  death  of  Alexander  in  December,  1825,  brought  no  change 
in  the  situation.  Nicholas  showed  himself  disposed  to  treat  on 
amicable  terms  with  Turkey  concerning  the  Danubian  principali- 
ties and  the  rectification  of  the  frontiers,  while,  thanks  to  Austrian 
intervention,  everything  seemed  to  adjust  itself  once  more.  "  The 
hopes  of  a  certain  faction,  enemies  of  public  tranquillity,  are  shat- 
tered," wrote  the  Augsburg  Gazette.  "  The  monarchs  should  unite 
to  crush  revolution  in  whatsoever  form  it  manifests  itself,  to 
renounce  momentary  advantages  and  to  hold  firmly  to  the  system 
of  the  Holy  Alliance.  Any  statesman  who  departs  from  this 
course  is  an  enemy  to  thrones  and  to  peoples.  The  leading  states- 
man of  the  continent,  he  whose  wise  councils  have  for  so  many 
years  secured  the  peace  of  Europe,  who  has  always  remained  true 
to  himself,  who  despite  the  attacks  of  his  enemies  has  never  de- 
parted from  this  straight  road,  this  time  again  has  defeated  the 
hopes  of  the  Liberals !  "  But  at  the  very  moment  when  Mettemich 
was  receiving,  perhaps  dictating,  these  praises,  and  believing  himself 
master  of  Europe,  he  was  totally  outwitted  by  Russia  and  England. 
By  a  protocol  sigpied  in  London,  in  April,  1826,  the  two  powers 
agreed  to  intervene  in  behalf  of  the  Greeks.  Austria  in  the  mean- 
time, by  her  ambiguous  policy,  suffered  a  well-merited  decline  in  her 
Eastern  commerce.  The  Greek  corsairs  attacked  her  merchant  ves- 
sels, capturing-  two  hundred  in  1826  alone.  England  recognized  the 
Greeks  as  belligerents,  and  the  cabinet  of  Vienna,  without  going  to 



this  length,  was  at  least  forced  to  admit  that  they  had  the  right 
to  seize  Austrian  vessels  carrying  contraband  of  war.  In  the 
month  of  July  France  gave  her  assent  to  the  London  protocol,  and 
the  three  powers  sent  their  Mediterranean  fleets  to  Turkey. 

In  1827  the  battle  of  Navarino  gave  the  final  blow  to  the  hopes 
of  the  Austrian  chancellor.  Europe  had  emphatically  taken  up  the 
cause  of  the  revolutionists.  In  1828  war  broke  out  between  Russia 
and  Turkey,  and  at  Vienna  confusion  and  fear  prevailed.  Austria 
was  convinced,  so  Gentz  wrote  to  Lord  Stanhope,  that  the  Tsar 
would  push  on  to  Constantinople.  To  prevent  this  she  had  not 
financial  resources,  an  adequate  army,  or  allies.  Even  France  was 
hostile,  Charles  X.  declaring  that  if  the  Emperor  Nicholas  attacked 
Austria  he  would  await  results,  but  if  Austria  attacked,  he  would 
immediately  attack  her.  Fortunately  Russia  encountered  greater 
difficulties  on  the  Danube  and  in  the  Balkans  than  had  been  fore- 
seen. The  war  ended  in  September,  1829,  in  the  Treaty  of 
Adrianople,  in  which  the  independence  of  Greece  was  recognized, 
and  the  Danubian  principalities  were  left  under  Russian  influence, 
much  to  the  detriment  of  Austrian  commerce. 

The  defeat  of  Turkey  was  regarded  as  a  real  catastrophe  for 
Austria.  The  prestige  of  the  cabinet  of  Vienna  crumbled  and  a 
large  part  of  its  influence  in  Europe  was  lost ;  England  and  Russia 
had  emphatically  freed  themselves  from  her  tutelage.  In  diplo- 
matic circles  the  narrowness  of  the  Viennese  statesmen  was  openly 
criticised.  It  was  sufficient,  in  order  to  obtain  the  favor  of  Francis 
and  his  minister,  Mettemich,  to  be  an  avowed  opponent  of  modern 
ideas.  In  1821  a  constitution  had  been  proclaimed  at  Lisbon;  the 
Austrian  ambassador  refused  to  illuminate  his  house.  A  constitu- 
tion even  upon  the  distant  shores  of  the  Atlantic  was  regarded  as  a 
menace  by  Francis  II.  It  can  be  readily  understood,  therefore,  with 
what  fear  the  revolution  of  July,  1830,  was  regarded  at  Vienna. 
The  events  in  Poland  brought  the  danger  more  directly  home  to 
Austria.  At  the  Congress  of  Vienna  Metternich  had  protested 
against  the  cession  of  the  grand  duchy  of  Warsaw  to  Russia,  and  at 
this  moment  a  secret  grudge  against  Russia,  arising  out  of  the  Turk- 
ish campaign,  still  rankled  in  the  Austrian  mind;  Galicia  was  ex- 
cited; the  Hungarians,  fearful  of  the  aggrandizement  of  Russia,  de- 
clared the  future  of  their  nation  compromised  by  the  growth  of 
the  Muscovite  nation,  and  demanded  intervention  in  favor  of  Po- 
land ;  the  Slavs  were  disturbed  over  the  conflict  between  their  kins- 

FRANCIS     II     AND     METTERNICH       327 


men.  Even  the  Germans — some  because  of  their  hberahsm,  others 
because  of  their  rehgious  convictions — favored  Poland.  At  Vienna 
the  poHcy  of  the  cabinet  on  the  PoHsh  question  was  quite  as  am- 
biguous as  in  the  Eastern  Question.  An  army  corps  was  sta- 
tioned upon  the  GaHcian  frontier  to  prevent  the  insurgents  from  en- 
tering Austrian  territory,  and  to  prohibit  the  importation  of  arms 
into  Poland;  but  the  Austrian  minister  remained  at  Warsaw, 
while  Prussia,  more  correct  from  the  standpoint  of  diplomatic 
etiquette,  withdrew  hers.  Metternich  did  not  announce  his  inten- 
tion of  intervening  against  the  insurgents  as  he  had  done  in  Italy 
and  Spain,  and  Gentz,  in  the  Augsburg  Gazette,  even  expressed  the 
generally  felt  sympathy  for  them.  There  was  even  talk  in  the  politi- 
cal circles  of  Vienna  of  an  Austrian  archduke  for  the  throne  of 
Poland.  When  the  struggle  had  reached  its  climax  Metternich 
offered  his  mediation,  which  was  promptly  declined,  and  Russia 
dealt  with  Poland  as  a  conqueror  with  the  conquered. 

In  the  meantime  disturbances  again  broke  out  in  Italy.  In  Feb- 
ruary, 1 83 1,  the  people  of  Parma  and  Modena  revolted  against 
their  Austrian  sovereign.  Austria  feared  that  the  revolution  would 
extend  to  Lombardy  and  Venetia,  those  fertile  Italian  provinces 
held  by  her  since  181 5,  and  from  which  revenues  amounting  an- 
nually to  between  fifty-seven  and  fifty-eight  millions  were  derived. 
In  view  of  this  the  Austrian  troops  entered  Modena  and  Parma,  and 
occupied  the  legations.  But  the  latter  were  soon  abandoned  be- 
cause of  the  protest  by  France.  The  following  year,  however,  a 
new  insurrection  broke  out,  and  Austria,  on  the  request  of  the 
Pope,  again  entered  the  Papal  territory.  France  replied  by  occu- 
pying Ancona.  Thus  Austria  continued  her  mistaken  policy,  tight- 
ening her  grasp  on  Italy,  which  rejected  her,  and  turning  her  back 
on  Poland,  which  would  perhaps  have  accepted  her  with  enthusi- 
asm, if  the  heir  of  the  Jagellons  of  Bohemia  and  of  Hungary  had 
wisely  revived  the  traditions  of  the  past,  appealed  to  the  sentiments 
of  the  Polish  Catholics,  and  recalled  the  ancient  alliance  of  the 
three  kingdoms.  In  Germany  the  influence  of  Metternich,  although 
dominant,  was  often  paralyzed  by  the  very  multiplicity  of  states 
and  sovereigns.  More  than  once  the  Austrian ,  minister  had 
groaned  over  the  weakness  of  governments  which  accepted  laws 
imposed  upon  them  by  their  people  during  revolts,  and  over  the 
errors  of  peoples  misguided  by  the  example  of  the  July  revolution. 
The  sovereigns,  on  their  part,  forced  to  make  humiliating  conces- 



sions,  gladly  turned  for  assistance  to  the  powerful  chancellor,  and 
Mettemich  exercised  over  them  a  veritable  tutelage. 

Conferences  analagous  to  the  Congresses  of  Laibach  and  Trop- 
pau  continued  the  alliance  between  the  three  courts  of  Russia, 
Austria,  and  Prussia.  In  September,  1833,  the  three  sovereigns 
met  at  Miinchengratz  and  a  treaty  was  signed  which  ag^in  confirmed 
the  alliance,  or,  perhaps  better,  the  conspiracy  of  the  three  monarchs. 
According  to  it  no  political  refugee  could  find  an  asylum  in  any  of 
the  three  states,  and  all  fugitives  from  justice  were  to  be  surren- 
dered. Precautions  were  also  taken  against  the  spirit  of  liberty 
which  was  again  appearing  in  France.  In  case  the  French  Govern- 
ment should  be  unable  to  suppress  revolutionary  plots  against  for- 
eign states,  the  three  emperors  reserved  to  themselves  the  right  to 
intervene.  But  despite  all  this  high-handed  policy  in  international 
matters,  Austria  was  rapidly  discovering  the  most  deplorable  state 
of  affairs  within  her  own  borders. 

The  financial  situation  was  very  grave,  and  despite  the  efforts 
of  Francis  and  his  minister  to  stifle  the  new  political  ideas,  the 
most  serious  problems  began  to  arise.  Austria  had  paid  dearly 
for  the  glory  of  being  the  arbiter  of  Europe  and  the  restorer  of 
legitimacy.  The  patent  of  181 1  was  a  frank  avowal  of  bankruptcy. 
An  issue  of  forty-five  million  Anticipatiouseheine  in  181 3  had  not 
relieved  the  paper  currency,  and  Stadion,  who  had  been  called  to 
reorganize  the  finances,  found  his  task  very  difficult.  The  ex- 
penses of  the  expedition  of  181 5  had  been  covered  by  a  loan  of 
fifty  millions,  out  of  which  the  government  realized  scarcely  forty. 
The  imposts  were  increased  till  they  overwhelmed  the  taxpayer. 
Austria  had  received  nearly  fifty  million  florins  indemnity  from  the 
war.  But  England  demanded  the  payment  of  the  subsidies.  From 
1792  to  1814  the  sum  amounted  to  more  than  eleven  million  pounds 
sterling.  A  new  loan  was  necessary  to  balance  this  account,  which 
Austrian  statesmen  would  fain  have  overlooked.  Stadion  elab- 
orated a  plan  to  remedy  all  these  evils.  No  more  paper  money 
was  to  be  issued,  and  the  National  Bank  of  Austria  was  established, 
which  was  to  administer  a  sinking  fund  formed  out  of  the  war 
indemnity.  But  the  notes  of  this  bank  were  refused,  and  fell  into 
the  hands  of  the  stock-jobbers.  Other  expedients  had  to  be  tried ; 
new  loans  were  raised  to  pay  old  ones.  It  was  at  this  time  that 
the  famous  banking  houses  of  Vienna — the  Barings,  Laboucheres, 
Parishes,  and,  above  all,  the  Rothschilds — took  their  rise  and  be- 

FRANCIS    II     AND    METTERNICH      32iy 


gan  to  dictate  to  every  European  capital.  As  has  been  justly 
remarked,  Vienna  became  the  center  of  a  financial  aristocracy 
which  administered  the  whole  European  public  debt  as  if  it  were  its 
private  estate. 

Hungary  never  agreed  willingly  to  any  national  system  of 
taxation,  and  down  to  the  year  1827  custom  houses  were  to  be 
found  along  the  frontiers  of  every  province  in  the  monarchy,  and 
the  prohibitive  system  paralyzed  all  industry.  From  an  economical 
point  of  view  the  most  important  event  of  the  reign  of  Francis  II. 
was  the  establishment  of  the  Austrian  Lloyd,  at  Triest,  which  has 
become  an  important  marine  navigation  company. 

We  have  already  said  something  of  the  system  of  repression 
which  weighed  upon  everyone.  An  inquisitorial  police  watched 
over  the  lives  of  the  citizens,  and  the  censorship  of  the  press  inter- 
fered with  every  expression  of  opinion.  Liberty  of  conscience  was 
subject  to  most  annoying  restrictions;  public  education  was  placed 
entirely  in  the  hands  of  the  clergy ;  no  one  was  allowed  to  study  in 
a  foreign  university;  and  the  central  government  persisted  in  re- 
fusing to  recognize  the  rights  of  the  diets.  And  yet,  in  spite  of  all 
this,  public  opinion  was  slowly  working  its  way  toward  freedom 
with  irresistible  energy. 

Chapter  XXVI 

HUNGARY   AND  THE   SLAV   COUNTRIES.     1790-1835 

JOSEPH  n.  had  left  Hungary  in  a  state  of  violent  excite- 
ment. The  comitat  of  Pesth  proclaimed  the  fall  of  the  dynasty, 
and  others  predicted  it  in  case  the  new  sovereign  did  not  grant 
the  country  her  liberty.  Everybody  was  agreed  in  demanding  the 
convocation  of  the  diet,  which  was  at  last  to  give  voice  to  the  long- 
suppressed  wishes  of  the  people.  The  revolutionary  spirit  which 
was  agitating  France  had  passed  to  the  Magyars,  but  between 
France  and  Hungary  there  existed  a  remarkable  difference:  in 
France  the  revolution  occurred  in  the  name  of  equality,  while 
among  the  Magyars  the  greater  and  lesser  nobility  alone  repre- 
sented the  political  element  of  the  nation,  and  they  demanded,  in 
the  name  of  liberty,  privileges  which  for  the  most  part  were  abso- 
lutely contrary  to  the  ideas  of  1789.  "  Some  of  the  comitats  even 
declared  that  it  was  not  the  peasants  who  had  occasion  to  com- 
plain, but  the  lords;  and  that,  instead  of  making  regulations  to 
relieve  serfdom,  it  was  necessary  to  lend  assistance  to  the  nobles 
in  the  enforcement  of  their  privileges.  Others,  setting  up  this  opin- 
ion as  a  doctrine,  declared  that  Providence  had  planned  that  there 
should  be  kings,  nobles,  and  serfs."  Among  the  recent  reforms, 
the  only  one  regarded  with  favor  by  the  Magyars  was  the  tolera- 
tion granted  the  Protestants,  the  lesser  nobility  being  for  the  most 
part  of  that  faith. 

Nevertheless  a  democratic  party  was  gradually  forming 
which  endeavored  to  excite  the  masses,  and  it  was  under  these 
circumstances  that  Leopold  H.  decided  to  convoke  the  diet.  It  held 
its  preliminary  session  in  the  castle  of  Buda.  "  O  blessed  day !  day 
of  resurrection ! "  wrote  the  poet  Baroti.  "  I  hear  the  mother 
tongue ;  the  old  costumes  delight  me."  "  We  swear  it,  that  as  long 
as  the  blood  of  Attila  flows  in  our  veins,  as  long  as  the  name  of 
Magyar  remains,  this  day  will  remain  sacred  in  our  memory  I" 
cried  the  poet  Peozely.    In  the  two  chambers  the  nobles  naturally 




had  the  majority.  From  the  opening-  session  serious  charges  were 
made.  Some  accused  the  king  of  treason,  others  claimed  for  Hun- 
gary complete  independence  in  regard  to  foreign  affairs,  and  de- 
manded a  Magyar  ambassador  at  Constantinople,  and  that  Magyar 
regiments  in  time  of  peace  should  be  stationed  in  Hungary,  and  be 
commanded  by  native  officers  only. 

Leopold  n.,  taking  his  stand  on  the  Pragmatic  Sanction,  re- 
fused to  recognize  any  other  agreement  with  Hungary,  and  on 
November  15,  1790,  caused  himself  to  be  crowned.  He  did  more: 
he  restored  the  palatine,  the  diet  electing  his  son,  the  young 
Archduke  Alexander,  to  the  office.  But  it  was  little  more  than  an 
empty  title,  since  it  was  not  at  all  likely  that  the  young  prince  would 
show  much  energy  in  defending  the  rights  of  the  kingdom  against 
his  father.  Nevertheless  these  concessions,  following  immediately 
after  the  reign  of  Joseph  H.,  called  forth  transports  of  joy  among 
the  Magyars.  The  measures  adopted  by  the  diet  summed  up  the 
wishes  of  the  people.  The  crown  of  St.  Stephen  was  to  remain  at 
Buda;  the  king  was  to  reside  from  time  to  time  in  Hungary;  he 
was  to  consult,  concerning  Hungarian  affairs,  only  with  Magyar 
counselors,  and  not  to  apply  the  laws  of  the  other  states  to  Hun- 
gary. The  diet  was  to  be  convoked  at  least  every  three  years,  and 
it  alone  possessed  the  legislative  power  and  the  right  to  spend 
money  and  to  raise  troops.  These  important  decisions  were  com- 
pleted by  an  act  providing  for  liberty  of  conscience  on  a  much  more 
liberal  basis  than  that  established  by  Joseph  H. 

But  a  question  more  difficult  of  solution  than  all  these  was  that 
of  the  amelioration  of  the  lower  classes — peasants,  serfs,  the 
Servians  of  the  Banat,  and  the  citizens  of  the  free  cities.  The 
nobles  were  little  disposed  to  surrender  their  privileges,  and  it  was 
Leopold  who  advocated  the  cause  of  liberalism  against  them.  The 
diet  granted  to  the  peasants  the  right  of  changing  their  abode,  but 
refused  to  grant  the  abolition  of  corporal  punishment.  The  bour- 
geoisie of  the  cities  were  for  the  most  part  of  foreign  origin.  They 
now  took  up  the  principles  of  the  French  Revolution  and  demanded 
admission  to  public  offices,  and  a  real  representation  in  the 
diet.  The  king  did  his  best  to  conciliate  their  interests  with  those 
of  the  nobles;  he  likewise  protected  the  Servians,  and  author- 
ized them  to  assemble  in  congress  to  discuss  the  interests  of  their 
race.  The  Orthodox  church  was  recognized,  and  a  Servian  chan- 
cery was  created,  despite  the  opposition  of  the  Magyars.     Death 



Struck  the  emperor,  Leopold  II.,  down  at  the  very  beginning  of  his 
popularity,  and  at  a  time  when  the  country  had  great  need  of  him. 

When  France  declared  war  against  Francis  II.  the  Magyar, 
aristocracy  at  once  showed  its  readiness  to  support  the  sovereign. 
They  were  eager  to  be  led  against  the  revolutionists  and  democrats 
on  the  banks  of  the  Seine.  But  gradually  Francis,  by  his  ob- 
scurantism, coupled  with  that  of  his  minister,  Thugut,  lost  the 
popularity  which  had  greeted  him  on  his  accession.  The  censor- 
ship, and  the  persecution  of  Protestants,  in  which  the  Magyar 
Catholics  themselves  took  a  conspicuous  part,  created  discontent. 
The  adherents  of  the  French  Revolution  increased  throughout  the 
kingdom  and  some  even  undertook  to  propagate  the  French  doctrines 
in  the  form  of  a  popular  catechism.  They  were  arrested,  with 
many  of  their  accomplices.  Fifty  citizens  accused  of  high  treason 
were  shut  up  in  the  fortress  of  Buda.  It  was  difficult  to  prove  the 
plot,  but  the  works  of  the  accused  showed  tendencies  hostile  to 
royalty  and  to  the  nobility.  One  among  them,  Bascany,  had  trans- 
lated the  "  Marseillaise."  Five  were  sentenced  to  death  on  the  scaf- 
fold, and  in  May,  1795,  they  were  executed.  Others,  among  whom 
was  Bascany,  were  shut  up  in  the  Fortress  Kiifstein  in  the  Tyrol, 
while  many  of  their  publications  were  burned  by  the  hangman,  nota- 
bly the  translation  of  the  "  Marseillaise."  The  author  of  this  trans- 
lation of  the  French  Revolutionary  hymn  expiated  his  imprudence 
by  nine  years  of  imprisonment. 

The  Magyar  nobles  obtained  important  commands  in  the  Aus- 
trian army,  and  the  diet  of  1796  voted  the  entire  appropriation  de- 
manded of  it.  Hungary  gave  to  Austria  some  of  her  best  generals, 
as,  for  example,  the  well-known  Alvinzy,  while  her  poets  encour- 
aged their  fellow-countrymen  in  the  conflict.  Up  to  the  peace  of 
Campo  Formio  Hungary  had  lost  more  than  100,000  men  and 
30,000,000  of  florins.  But  the  country,  drained  of  its  men  and 
money,  and  badly  cultivated,  was  reduced  to  the  lowest  depths  of 
misery,  foreign  affairs  having  completely  blinded  the  eyes  of  the 
Hungarians  to  the  real  interests  of  the  kingdom.  The  diet  of  1796 
considered  no  other  question  but  that  of  subsidies  for  the  army. 

The  diet  of  1802  had  to  deal  with  a  very  critical  situation.  It 
concerned  the  reform  of  the  customs  regulations,  so  unfavorable  to 
the  economic  interests  of  the  country.  The  Austrian  Government, 
on  the  other  hand,  was  occupied  much  more  with  another  ques- 
tion, namely,  the  maintenance  of  the  Hungarian  army  upon  a  war 



HUNGARY     AND     SLAV     COUNTRIES    333 


footing  in  the  time  of  peace,  which  involved  a  supplementary  sub- 
sidy of  a  million  florins.  The  troops  furnished  by  Hungary  were 
twofold  in  character:  the  regular  regiments  and  the  insurrection, 
raised  after  a  war  had  actually  broken  out.  The  government 
was  anxious  to  strengthen  the  regular  army  at  the  expense  of  the 
insurrection.  It  wished  that  the  assembly  would  give  up  its  right 
of  voting  the  contingent.  On  this  point  it  failed,  but  it  did  succeed 
in  obtaining  6000  recruits  yearly  in  time  of  peace  and  12,000  in 
time  of  war,  who  entered  into  obligations  to  serve  for  ten  years. 
At  the  same  time  it  obtained  two  millions  for  the  war  budget.  In 
its  turn  the  diet  tried,  though  unsuccessfully,  to  secure  the  annexa- 
tion of  Dalmatia  to  Hungary.  The  debates  concerning  the  privi- 
leges of  the  nobility  revealed  once  again  how  stubbornly  attached 
to  its  privileges  was  the  Magyar  aristocracy,  and  how  utterly  un- 
touched by  the  ideas  of  equality  by  this  time  spread  broadcast 
throughout  Europe.  This  selfishness  of  the  ruling  classes  was  to 
stand  royalty  in  good  stead  when,  desiring  to  check  the  nobility 
finally,  it  found  support  in  the  people,  especially  the  middle  classes. 
In  the  meantime  the  government  continued  its  Germanizing 
policy.  The  German  theater  at  Pesth  was  favored  by  a  consid- 
erable subsidy.  On  the  other  hand  the  enthusiastic  Hungarian 
poets,  Csokonay,  Verseghy,  Berszenyi,  and  especially  the  immortal 
Kisfaludy,  placed  the  Hungarian  language  on  a  firm  basis  by 
excellent  productions,  which  rank  with  the  very  best  poetry 
of  western  Europe.  After  the  diet  of  1802  the  most  important 
event  of  this  period  for  Hungary  was  the  creation  of  the  ofiicial 
title  of  emperor  of  Austria,  which  deeply  wounded  the  Hungarians, 
despite  the  assurances  of  the  monarch  that  this  would  involve  no 
change  in  the  relations  between  the  different  states.  The  prestige 
of  their  kingdom  of  St.  Stephen  was  henceforth  to  be  subordinated 
to  that  of  the  empire.  Nevertheless,  the  hereditary  loyalty  of  the 
Magyars  again  triumphed,  and  when  Napoleon,  after  the  capitula- 
tion of  Ulm,  reached  the  gates  of  Vienna  the  diet  would  not  sell 
its  services.  The  Magyar  aristocracy  remained  faithful  to  the 
hereditary  dynasty.  Nevertheless  the  diet  would  not  consent  to 
the  levy  en  masse  which  the  government  asked.  It  demanded  new 
concessions  for  the  national  language,  notably  the  right  of  the 
comitats  to  correspond  with  the  central  government  in  the  Magyar 
tongue.  The  frontiers  of  Hungary  were  soon  exposed  to  the 
French  arms.     Napoleon  was  at  Vienna,  the  army  of  Italy  on  the 



Raab.  But  the  Palatine  Joseph  did  not  wish  to  expose  the  king- 
dom to  an  invasion.  He  withdrew  to  Buda-Pesth,  sent  the  sacred 
crown  of  St.  Stephen  to  Munkacs,  and  left  General  Palfify  at 
Presburg,  with  orders  to  obtain  from  Napoleon  the  neutrality  of 
Hungary.  Davoust  readily  consented  to  contenting  himself  with 
the  occupation  of  Presburg  without  imposing  either  requisitions 
or  contributions  upon  the  inhabitants.  At  the  same  time  Napoleon, 
as  appears  from  his  correspondence,  gave  orders  that  the  griev- 
ances of  the  Hungarians  against  the  Austrian  government  should 
be  studied  and  use  made  of  them. 

The  diet  of  1807  devoted  itself  exclusively  to  internal  ques- 
tions, and  the  government  made  every  effort  to  obtain  supplies  in 
view  of  future  conflicts.  It  demanded  levies,  the  number  fixed  once 
for  all,  and  an  extraordinary  impost  for  military  needs.  The  lower 
chamber  refused  the  regular  levy,  claiming  for  Hungary  the  right 
to  give  or  withhold  its  men  as  it  wished.  The  chamber  of  mag- 
nates was  more  conciliatory,  in  form  at  least,  and  was  more 
disposed  to  make  the  financial  sacrifice.  It  granted  a  sixth  of  the 
revenue  of  the  nobility,  merchants,  and  bourgeoisie,  and  one  per 
cent,  of  the  value  on  all  real  property.  Over  the  question  of  the 
regular  levy  the  conflict  was  very  bitter.  The  diet  did  not  wish  to 
surrender  its  right  of  determining  the  contingent,  and  even  after 
it  was  voted  the  conflict  was  taken  up  by  the  comitats.  It  was  at 
this  diet  that  Paul  Nagy,  the  great  Magyar  orator  of  Hungarian 
independence,  first  appeared.  In  spite  of  the  protests  of  the  court, 
the  diet  energetically  maintained  the  autonomous  position  of 
Hungary  within  the  Austrian  monarchy. 

In  order  to  win  for  himself  the  sympathy  of  the  Magyars, 
Francis  II.  decided  to  have  the  new  empress-queen,  his  third  wife, 
Marie  Louise,  crowned.  This  ceremony  never  fails  to  excite  much 
enthusiasm  among  the  Hungarians,  and  is  always  a  source  of 
profit  to  the  monarchy.  On  the  other  hand  Napoleon's  war  with 
Spain  excited  in  the  Hungarian  nobility  a  lively  indignation. 

During  the  campaign  of  1809  the  diet  added  20,000  con- 
scripts to  the  12,000  which  they  had  voted  previously,  and  decreed 
the  insurrection.  The  poets,  Verseghy  and  Kisfaludy,  called  the 
nation  to  arms.  The  great  families  made  enormous  sacrifices; 
Prince  Esterhazy  furnished  two  hundred  horses,  the  archbishop 
of  Kalocsa  one  hundred  and  twenty.  The  enthusiasm  increased 
still  more  when,  on   May   i,    1809,   the  empress-queen  and   the 


HUNGARY     AND     SLAV     COUNTRIES    335 


heir-apparent,  leaving  Vienna,  which  was  threatened  by  the  enemy, 
came  to  seek  an  asylum  in  the  imperial  castle  at  Buda.  Napoleon, 
who  never  properly  estimated  public  sentiment  in  Hungary, 
thought  the  moment  had  come  for  striking  a  great  blow  at 
Austria  by  detaching  from  her  the  kingdom  of  St.  Stephen. 
From  his  headquarters  at  Schonbriinn  he  addressed  a  proclamation 
to  the  Hungarians  which  was  immediately  scattered  throughout 
the  kingdom.  This  document  had  been  translated  by  the  poet 
Bacsanyi,  who,  thrown  into  the  prison  of  Kufstein  some  time  be- 
fore, had  there  met  Maret,  ambassador  of  the  French  Republic, 
arrested  by  the  Austrians.  Maret,  now  duke  of  Bassano  and  min- 
ister of  Napoleon,  met  again  at  Vienna  his  old  companion  in 
captivity,  who  undoubtedly  aided  him  in  drawing  up  the  original 
and  took  upon  himself  the  translation. 

"  Hungarians !  "  the  proclamation  said,  "  it  is  the  emperor  of 
Austria,  and  not  the  king  of  Hungary,  who  has  declared  war 
on  me.  Your  consistent  defensive  system  and  the  measures  taken 
by  your  last  diet  have  shown  that  you  wished  to  maintain  peace. 
The  moment  has  come  for  you  to  recover  your  independence.  I 
offer  you  peace,  the  integrity  of  your  territory,  of  your  liberty, 
and  of  your  laws,  either  as  they  have  existed,  or  modified  by 
yourselves,  if  you  think  that  the  interests  of  the  time  and  of  your 
fellow-citizens  demand  it.  I  wish  nothing  of  you  and  desire  only 
;o  see  you  a  free  and  independent  nation.  Your  union  with  Aus- 
a  has  been  your  misfortune.  Your  blood  has  been  shed  for 
er  in  distant  lands,  and  your  dearest  interests  have  been  constantly 
crificed  to  those  of  the  Hereditary  States.  You  form  the  finest 
part  of  her  empire,  yet  you  are  only  a  province,  always  enslaved 
to  passions  which  are  foreign  to  you. 
B  "  You  have  national  customs  and  a  national  language ;  you  are 
^  proud  of  your  illustrious  and  ancient  origin :  resume  then  your 
existence  as  a  nation.  Have  a  king  of  your  own  choice,  who  may 
reign  only  for  you,  reside  in  your  midst,  and  be  surrounded  only 
by  your  citizens  and  your  soldiers.  Hungarians!  that  is  what  all 
Europe,  which  is  watching  you,  demands  of  you;  that  is  what 
I,  too,  demand  of  you.  A  lasting  peace,  commercial  relations,  and 
assured  independence,  such  is  the  reward  that  awaits  you  if  you 
wish  to  be  worthy  of  your  ancestors  and  of  yourselves.  You  will 
not  reject  such  liberal  and  generous  offers,  you  will  not  waste  your 
,  blood  for  feeble  princes,  always  enslaved  to  corrupt  ministers  and 



sold  to  England.  Assemble  in  a  national  diet  on  the  field  of 
Rakos,  in  the  manner  of  your  ancestors,  and  make  known  to  me 
your  resolutions." 

This  document,  in  spite  of  the  incontestable  ability  with  which 
It  had  been  drawn  up,  produced  little  impression  in  Hungary. 
The  insurrection  took  up  arms  and  concentrated  at  Raab.  Badly 
equipped  and  poorly  armed,  it  assembled  in  an  entrenched  camp 
under  the  command  of  the  Archduke  John.  But  the  formidable 
French  artillery  and  the  inequalities  of  the  marshy  ground  ren- 
dered unavailing  the  valor  of  the  Hungarian  cavalry,  Raab  was 
taken,  and  the  Austrians  were  not  sparing  in  raillery  to  those  fine 
gentlemen  who  had  allowed  themselves  to  be  beaten  on  their  own 
soil.  After  this  reverse,  the  court  still  demanded  40,000  men  of 
Hungary.  Soon  furnished  by  voluntary  enlistment,  these  went  to 
reinforce  the  army  of  the  Archduke  Charles.  The  kingdom  suf- 
fered besides  from  requisitions  and  from  military  excesses 
which  have  not  rendered  popular  the  memory  of  the  French  sol- 
diers. The  Treaty  of  Vienna  detached  from  Hungary  certain  por- 
tions of  Croatia,  a  wrong  which  the  Magyars  highly  resented. 

They  had  not  hesitated  to  fight  for  Austria,  but  they  refused 
to  lend  themselves  to  the  deplorable  measures  that  the  govern- 
ment of  Vienna  thought  necessary  in  order  to  remedy  the  bad 
state  of  its  finances.  The  emperor,  supported  by  his  lieutenant, 
the  Palatine  Joseph,  had  recourse  to  violent  means.  The  recal- 
citrant deputies  were  summoned  ad  audiendiim  verbum  regium, 
and  one  of  them,  Joseph  Desseffvy,  was  excluded  from  the  diet. 
In  the  end  they  yielded  to  force.  On  the  whole  the  Hungarians 
were  poorly  repaid  for  their  fidelity  to  Austria. 

Nevertheless  Hungary  furnished  a  numerous  and  brave  con- 
tingent for  the  campaign  of  1813-1814,  though  it  took  part  in 
the  struggle  without  enthusiasm.  This  time  the  poets  and  the 
publicists  celebrated  neither  the  supreme  conflict  against  the  tyrant 
of  Europe  nor  the  victories  of  the  Austrian  army.  "  We  are 
^i^PPy/'  said  one  address  to  Francis,  "  for  the  victories  of  your 
majesty;  they  will  permit  you  to  think  of  the  welfare  of  your  sub- 
jects. The  fear  of  the  enemy  has  thus  far  prevented  all  your  wishes 
from  being  carried  out."  Hungary  had  fought  more  for  the 
dynasty  than  for  her  independence;  she  had  postponed  the  dis- 
cussion of  questions  touching  her  own  especial  interests ;  she  hailed 
the  peace  with  joy,  in  the  hope  that  the  sovereign  would  at  last 

HUNGARY     AND     SLAV     COUNTRIES    337 


interest  himself  in  his  faithful  Hungarians — an  illusion  that  did 
not  last  long. 

After  1815  Francis  H.  refused  for  some  time  to  convoke  the 
diet.  While  poets  such  as  Kolczey,  and  Alexander  and  Charles 
Kisfaludy  were  attempting  to  revive  the  ancient  glories  of  the 
nation,  the  Viennese  government  was  endeavoring  to  stifle  the 
development  of  public  spirit  by  means  of  the  censorship.  But 
in  the  absence  of  the  diet  the  people  turned  to  the  comitats.  That 
of  Bars,  for  instance,  protested  nobly.  "  We  do  not  doubt,"  it 
said,  "  that  this  rigorous  censorship  imposed  on  our  literature 
appears  useful  to  his  majesty's  government.  The  ignorance  of 
contemporary  events  that  we  owe  to  it  makes  easier,  perhaps,  the 
exercise  of  authority.  We  only  ask  if  manly  spirits  will  put  up 
with  such  repression?  What  indeed  are  our  sins?  Why  are  the 
sources  of  civilization  closed  for  us?  Why  are  we  cut  off  from 
human  society?" 

In  the  face  of  afi  adversary  so  tenacious  as  the  Hungarian 
aristocracy  the  convocation  of  the  diet  could  not  be  indefinitely 
postponed.  The  royal  chancery  at  Pesth  found  itself  powerless 
to  govern  without  the  legal  concurrence  of  the  country,  the  Arch- 
duke Joseph,  who  had  been  palatine  for  many  years,  had  been 
somewhat  influenced  by  the  Magyar  ideas  of  self-government,  and 
Austria  needed  troops  for  the  occupation  of  Italy.  The  king  at- 
tempted to  win  over  the  Hungarians  by  flattery,  and  after  a  mili- 
tary review  in  1820  made  a  speech  in  which  he  told  them  that, 
while  the  rest  of  the  world  was  relinquishing  old  laws  and  seek- 
ing new  forms  of  government,  they  had  a  constitution  "  which 
you  love  and  I  love  and  will  preserve  and  transmit  to  our  suc- 
cessors." This  declaration  had  little  effect  upon  the  Magyars, 
however.  The  comitats  refused  to  pay  taxes  or  to  furnish  soldiers, 
and  even  after  the  sovereign  had  replaced  the  foispan  by  royal 
administrators,  resisted  still  further,  and  all  the  officials  resigned. 
The  magistrates  even  refused  to  prosecute  the  cases  for  high 
treason  sent  them  by  the  government  at  Vienna. 

It  now  seemed  that  royal  authority  could  be  best  strengthened 
through  a  national  parliament,  and  the  diet  of  1825- 1829,  which 
met  at  Presburg,  September  11,  1825,  marks  an  important  step  in 
the  constitutional  history  of  Hungary.  The  king  in  his  speech 
promised  anew  to  observe  the  constitution  and  hand  it  down  intact 
to  his  heirs,  while  he  did  not  neglect  a  ceremony  which  has  always 



had  great  prestige  in  Hungary,  and  his  fourth  wife,  Charlotte  of 
Bavaria,  was  crowned  as  queen.  Among  the  deputies  of  the  diet 
were  Szechenyi  in  the  upper  chamber,  known  as  the  Great 
Magyar,  and  in  the  lower  chamber  Paul  Nagy,  whose  fiery  elo- 
quence had  signalized  him  in  previous  diets,  and  a  young  advo- 
cate of  the  comitat  of  Zala,  Francis  Deak.  The  deliberations 
were  noisy  and  less  docile  perhaps  than  the  court  had  hoped. 
There  were  recriminations  against  the  violence  of  the  government, 
the  misdeeds  of  royal  administrators,  the  violations  of  personal 
liberty,  and  the  long  adjournment  of  national  representation 
— all  with  the  verbiose  eloquence  and  in  the  4oubtful  Latin 
v.hich  the  assembled  Magyars  then  employed.  The  dynasty  had 
to  hear  some  hard  truths.  Violent  orators  even  proclaimed  that 
the  Hapsburgs  were  the  hereditary  enemies  of  Hungary,  and 
the  king  was  obliged  to  accord  satisfaction  and  declare  that  he 
had  not  intended  to  violate  the  constitution.  The  Hunga- 
rians asked  that  there  be  added  again  to  their  kingdom  those 
territories  which  had  been  a  part  of  it  by  historic  right,  Dal- 
matia,  for  example,  but  they  were  not  listened  to.  The  finan- 
cial measures  of  1811  and  of  1816  were  stormily  debated.  One 
of  the  most  important  results  of  this  diet  was  the  development 
of  the  Magyar  language  and  literature.  Szechenyi  used  the  na- 
tional tongue  in  the  tribune,  and  subscribed  60,000  florins  to  the 
founding  of  the  Hungarian  Academy,  while  a  national  theater 
arose  at  Pesth.  A  ready  writer  no  less  than  an  eloquent  orator, 
Szechenyi  undertook  to  reveal  economic  truths  to  his  compatriots, 
and  his  book  on  "  Credit "  was  epoch-making.  The  old  world  of 
magnates  broke  down  under  the  force  of  modern  ideas  and  the 
years  which  followed  1830  are  marked  by  important  works,  such 
as  the  construction  of  the  bridge  at  Pesth  and  the  tunnel  at  Buda, 
and  the  regulation  of  the  course  of  the  Theiss. 

In  order  to  attach  the  Hungarians  more  closely  to  him,  Fran- 
cis II.,  during  his  lifetime,  had  his  successor,  the  Archduke  Ferdi- 
nand, crowned.  After  the  July  Revolution  he  needed  to  dispose  of 
all  the  forces  of  Hungary,  and  convoked  the  diet  in  order  to  obtain 
new  levies.  Twenty  thousand  men  were  granted,  but  were  only 
to  be  levied  in  case  the  monarchy  should  be  directly  attacked.  The 
diet  of  1833  had  to  determine  some  grave  questions;  this  time  it 
had  to  deal  not  only  with  the  relations  of  the  aristocracy  with  the 
sovereign,  with  taxes  and  with  the  constitution,  but  also  with  the 



emancipation  of  the  agricultural  classes  and  the  economic  develop- 
ment of  the  country.  The  Hungarian  nobility,  very  zealous  in 
the  defense  of  its  own  interests,  had  always  shown  a  deplorable 
egotism  in  its  relations  with  the  peasants.  It  had  given  good  op- 
portunity to  the  Austrian  government  to  play  a  tutelary  role 
toward  the  peasants.  More  than  once  terrible  jacqueries  had 
stained  the  provinces  with  blood,  as  for  instance  in  1831,  at  the 
time  of  the  cholera,  when  the  peasants  of  the  comitat  of  Saros 
massacred  some  of  their  seigneurs  accused  of  having  poisoned  the 
wells.  The  emperor  now  invited  the  diet  to  discuss  a  project  of 
agrarian  reform,  the  basis  of  which  he  himself  laid  down.  The 
lower  chamber  agreed  to  this  programme.  Deak,  Balogh,  and 
Kolczey  spoke  eloquently  of  liberty  and  human  dignity,  while  the 
chamber  of  magnates  was  rebellious  at  such  liberal  concessions, 
and  not  at  all  disposed  to  grant  them.  The  discussions  were  pro- 
longed for  two  years,  when  certain  reforms  were  agreed  upon. 
Hereafter  the  peasants  were  not  to  be  at  the  mercy  of  the  jurisdic- 
tion of  the  seigneur,  who  had  been  at  the  same  time  judge  and 
party  to  the  case;  they  could  no  longer  be  arrested  by  his  order; 
they  had  the  right  of  leaving  their  lands  by  selling  their  usufruct, 
and  of  acquiring  property  by  an  arrangement  with  the  seigneur, 
without,  however,  breaking  the  feudal  tie;  and  finally,  they  had 
no  longer  to  bear  the  expenses  of  the  diet,  which,  up  to  this  time, 
they  had  had  to  pay  alone.  This  was  the  first  step  toward  equality 
of  taxation,  equality  to  which  the  old  Magyar  spirit  was  pro- 
foundly repugnant.  It  was  regarded  as  a  great  event  when 
Szechenyi  obtained  that  on  the  new  bridge  at  Pesth,  all  nobles 
and  yeoman  alike  should  pay  toll.  Cziraki,  the  supreme  judge 
of  the  kingdom,  declared  with  tears  that  he  would  never  cross  this 
bridge,  which  symbolized  to  him  the  ruin  of  the  old  national 

It  was  the  diet  of  1833  that  marked  definitely  the  entrance 
of  the  Magyar  language  into  parliamentary  life.  The  lower 
chamber  compelled  the  upper  one  to  use  this  as  the  common 
medium  of  communication,  while  a  young  advocate,  Louis  Kos- 
suth, edited  in  the  Hungarian  tongue  a  Gazette  of  the  diet.  This 
organ,  distributed  secretly  in  order  to  escape  the  censorship,  in- 
terested the  entire  country  in  the  parliamentary  debates  and  carried 
to  the  most  distant  frontiers  those  political  conflicts  of  which  Pres- 
burg  was  the  center.     Some  of  these  debates  had  dealt  with  the 




affairs  of  Poland.  The  Polish  revolution  had  failed,  but  it  had 
excited  much  sympathy  in  Hungary,  and,  when  some  of  the  Polish 
refugees  in  France  tried  to  gain  for  their  cause  the  intervention 
of  the  Hungarian  assembly,  a  number  of  fiery  speeches  were  de- 
livered from  the  tribune,  one  orator  even  going  so  far  as  to 
reproach  the  government  for  having  employed  Hungarian  soldiers 
in  the  oppression  of  Italian  patriots.  It  required  all  the  tact  and 
popularity  of  the  Palatine  Joseph  to  prevent  a  diplomatic  incident. 
The  revolution  of  Warsaw,  in  1830,  prepared  in  a  certain  measure 
that  of  Pesth  in  1848. 

The  other  provinces  of  the  empire  are  certainly  not  so  inter- 
esting historically  during  the  years  from  1825  to  1835  as  is  Hun- 
gary, with  its  parliamentary  and  provincial  institutions,  its  elo- 
quent tribune,  and  its  perpetual  conflict  between  retrograde  and 
liberal  ideas.  But  the  life  of  a  people  is  not  entirely  in  its  official 
manifestations;  it  is  at  times  concentrated  in  the  development  of 
that  private  opinion  expressed  by  sudden  explosions.  For  the 
Slavs  of  Austria  the  first  thirty  years  of  the  nineteenth  century 
were  not  less  productive  than  for  the  Magyars.  At  the  beginning 
of  his  reign  Leopold  II.  had  convoked  the  diet  of  Bohemia,  where- 
upon it  sent  him  a  long  memorandum  of  its  grievances,  demanded 
the  repeal  of  all  those  measures  passed  in  the  two  preceding 
reigns  which  struck  at  the  rights  of  the  kingdom  or  at  ecclesiastical 
institutions,  and  asked  for  the  right  of  taking  part  in  the  legisla- 
tion which  had  been  taken  away  from  them  in  1627  by  the  new 
constitution  of  Ferdinand  II.  Leopold  made  some  concessions, 
but  none  that  would  enfeeble  the  authority  of  the  central  power. 
The  diet  regained  only  the  right  of  levying  and  arranging  for  col- 
lecting taxes,  and  of  discussing  all  laws  proposed  by  the  sovereign ; 
the  permanent  committee  was  also  reestablished,  but  with  very  re- 
stricted powers.  The  crown  of  St.  Vacslav  was  sent  back  to 
Prague,  and  the  emperor  rendered  homage  to  the  historical  tra- 
ditions by  having  himself  crowned,  an  example  which  was  followed 
by  his  successors,  Francis  I.  and  Ferdinand  II.  Indeed,  the  pres- 
ent sovereign  is,  with  Joseph  II.,  the  only  king  who  has  broken 
with  this  time-honored  custom. 

The  efforts  of  the  diet  to  recover  its  prerogatives  were  only 
feeble  symptoms  of  the  intellectual  movement  which  had  begun 
toward  the  end  of  the  eighteenth  century.  In  1774  one  of  the 
few   remaining  representatives  of   the  native  aristocracy,   Count 

HUNGARY     AND     SLAV     COUNTRIES    341 


Kinsky,  had  in  a  German  pamphlet  urged  the  maintenance  and 
development  of  the  national  language.  Some  conscientious  his- 
torians, Pelcel,  Dobner,  and  Prochazka,  began  to  study  the  early 
history  of  Bohemia,  while  the  Royal  Society  of  Sciences  was 
founded  in  1784.  Interest  in  archaeology  led  to  philological  re- 
searches, and  it  was  no  longer  possible  to  disdain  a  language  in 
which  was  found  a  curious  genius  of  its  own,  a  rich  literature,  and 
close  connection  with  that  wide  group  of  Slav  tongues  that  extends 
from  the  Adriatic  to  the  Arctic.  In  1793  a  chair  of  the  Czech 
language  was  established  at  the  University  of  Prague,  where  Joseph 
11.  had  so  shortly  before  ordered  that  all  teaching  should  be  in  Ger- 
man. The  great  linguist,  Dobrovsky  (1753- 1829),  by  his  travels 
and  his  writings  laid  the  basis  for  Slav  comparative  philology.  His 
precursors  had  treated  the  Czech  as  a  dead  language.  Now  young 
poets  gave  life  to  it  and  made  it  the  organ  of  their  patriotic  aspira- 
tions. Through  the  generosity  of  the  Counts  Sternberg  the  Czech 
Museum  was  founded  at  Prague  in  181 8,  and  its  precious  collec- 
tions excited  much  sympathetic  interest. 

Archives  and  libraries  were  searched  and  the  discovery  of 
mediaeval  poems,  such  as  the  "  Judgment  of  Libusa "  and  the 
"  Manuscript  of  Kralove-Dvor,"  was  received  with  veritable  en- 
thusiasm. The  authenticity  of  these  poems  has  been  contested,  but 
whether  true  or  false  it  is  certain  that  they  exercised  an  irre- 
sistible influence  and  corresponded  admirably  to  the  public  senti- 
ments of  the  time.  "  It  would  be  shameful  for  us  to  look  to  the 
Germans  for  justice,"  says  the  "  Judgment  of  Libusa,"  "  since  it 
is  determined  for  us  by  the  laws  which  our  fathers  formerly  carried 
into  those  countries."  "  The  stranger  has  entered  by  force  into 
our  heritage  and  commands  us  in  a  foreign  language,  and  that 
which  he  does  from  morning  till  night  he  forces  our  wives  and 
our  children  to  do,"  says  the  "  Manuscript  of  Kralove-Dvor." 

Bohemia  recognized  that  alone  she  was  too  feeble  to  hold 
her  own  against  both  Austria  arid  Germany  at  the  same  time,  but 
to  German  solidarity  she  was  able  to  oppose  Slav  solidarity;  the 
Czech  tongue  was  not  only  spoken  by  five  or  six  millions  of 
people,  but  those  who  spoke  it  could  claim  kinship  with  kindred 
tongues,  Russian,  Polish,  Croatian,  and  Servian.  This  union  of 
the  Slavs  became  the  watchword  of  the  Czech  patriots,  and  added 
much  to  their  strength.  It  was  celebrated  by  the  poet  Kollar 
in  a   famous  pamphlet,   and  in  the  great  poem  which  he  con- 



secrated  to  his  race,  under  the  name,  "  Slava  dcera,  the  Daughter 
of  the  Slavs,  or  the  Daughter  of  Glory  (1824)."  "After  being 
bom  to  a  new  life,"  sang  Kollar,  "  we  have  entered  into  a  great 
desert  which  heaven  has  not  yet  made  productive;  the  Romance 
and  Germanic  peoples  walk  in  a  beaten  path  and  we  follow  them 
with  a  slow  step ;  but  we  are  a  young  people,  we  know  what  others 
have  done,  while  they  are  ignorant  of  what  our  role  is  to  be  in 
the  annals  of  humanity.  We  do  not  wish  for  a  victory  which  falls 
from  heaven  without  sweat  and  without  work."  Elsewhere  he 
evoked  the  memory  of  the  tragic  fate  of  the  Slavs  of  the  Elbe: 
"  It  is  there !  I  see  it  through  my  tears,  that  broad  land,  formerly 
the  cradle  and  now  the  tomb  of  a  great  nation.  .  .  .  From 
the  sources  of  the  Elbe  to  the  Baltic  there  formerly  resounded 
one  great  and  generous  tongue.  Why  does  one  hear  it  no  longer? 
Shame  to  thee,  jealous  and  covetous  German.  Thou  hast  caused 
torrents  of  our  blood  to  be  shed,  and  now  thou  dost  continue  to  pour 
forth  floods  of  calumny,  hoping  in  these  to  drown  our  memories 
of  the  past.  He  alone  who  is  worthy  of  liberty  knows  how  to 
respect  all  liberties.  He  who  puts  slaves  in  irons  is  himself  a 

Bohemia  he  shamed  for  having  allowed  herself  to  be  invaded 
and  colonized  by  the  Germans.  "  Who,  then,  is  that  young  and 
beautiful  girl  who  runs  in  the  fields?  She  must  indeed  be  poor  to 
wear  a  robe  pieced  from  such  diverse  materials.  It  is  our  Bo- 
hemia dotted  over  with  foreign  colonists."  Finally,  he  called 
upon  all  the  Slavs  to  form  a  definite  alliance :  "  Russians, 
Servians,  Czechs,  Poles,  become  united.  .  .  .  From  Athos  to 
Pomerania,  from  the  fields  of  Silesia  to  the  plain  of  Kosovo,  from 
Constantinople  to  the  Volga,  wherever  one  hears  the  Slav  language 
let  us  rejoice  and  embrace  each  other,  happy  in  our  immense  father- 
land, Slavia.  Believe  me,  brothers,  we  have  all  that  which  assures 
continuance  to  a  great  people.  Continents  and  seas  stretch  under 
our  feet ;  gold  and  silver,  strong  and  vigorous  arms,  a  language  rich 
and  powerful — we  possess  everything,  except  concord  and  liberty." 
And  following  unremittingly  this  dream  of  unity  he  drew  a  vivid 
picture  of  the  new  Slavia :  "  I  have  said  it  a  hundred  times,  I  cry 
it  again  to  you  to-day,  O  dispersed  Slavs,  be  united  and  not  isolated 
groups,  be  united  or  nothing.  Ah,  have  I  said  more  than  once  when 
my  spirit  wavered,  were  our  Slav  people  only  of  gold,  of  silver, 
or  of  copper,  I  would  weld  them  into  a  single  statue.     Of  Russia  I 

HUNGARY     AND     SLAV     COUNTRIES    343 


would  make  the  hands,  of  the  Poles  the  bust,  of  the  Czechs  the 
arms  and  the  head,  and  of  the  Servians  the  feet.  The  smaller 
nations,  the  Wends,  Lusatians,  Silesians,  Croats,  and  Slovaks 
should  be  the  vestments  and  the  weapons.  Europe  should  kneel 
before  this  image  whose  head  should  touch  the  clouds,  and  whose 
steps  should  reach  across  the  world." 

Around  Kollar  was  grouped  a  school  of  patriot  poets;  Cela- 
kovsky,  Hanka,  and  Vocel.  The  Slovak  Safarik  wrote  a  great  work 
on  Slav  antiquities  (1837),  while  the  Moravian  Palacky,  appointed 
historiographer  of  the  kingdom  of  Bohemia,  commenced  the  his- 
tory of  his  adopted  country,  which  is  one  of  the  most  remarkable 
works  of  our  time  and  has  taken  more  than  half  a  century  to  com- 
plete. Thanks  to  such  talents  and  patriotism  Bohemia  not  only 
regained  the  consciousness  of  her  own  nationality,  but  put  herself 
at  the  head  of  the  Slav  peoples  of  the  empire,  and  the  Slavs  of 
the  south  were  not  slow  to  follow  her  example.  Then  it  was 
that  Croatia  gave  the  signal  for  the  awakening.  That  country 
had  been  profoundly  stirred  by  the  Servian  revolution,  and  the 
works  of  the  leading  writers  of  the  new  principality,  the  Karad- 
jitches  and  Obradnovitches,  had  found  a  sympathetic  echo. 

In  1826  a  society  of  Servian  literature  had  been  founded  by 
the  Servians  of  Hungary,  and  in  its  turn  the  capital  of  Croatia  be- 
came aroused.  So  far  the  diversity  of  provincial  dialects  had  been 
an  obstacle  to  the  unity  of  the  literature,  but  now  an  eminent 
publicist,  Louis  Gaj,  undertook  to  unite  into  a  harmonious  whole 
the  scattered  forces  of  Illyria,  He  commenced  by  publishing  two 
newspapers,  one  entitled  the  Croatian  Gazette,  the  other  the  Croa- 
tian, Slavonian  and  Dalmatian  Aurora  (1835).  He  chose  the 
following  fiery  motto :  "  A  people  without  nationality  is  a  body 
without  bone."  He  then  proposed  to  substitute  for  the  local 
names  of  Servians,  Croatians,  Slovenes,  and  Dalmatians,  the 
common  one  of  Illyrians,  which  Napoleon  had  restored.  The  fol- 
lowing year  he  gave  to  his  two  journals  the  titles  of  Aurora,  and 
of  the  Illyrian  Gazette.  "  Europe,"  said  he,  "  rests  on  a  three- 
cornered  lyre.  This  lyre  is  Illyria.  It  extends  from  Villach  to 
Varna  and  to  Scutari ;  the  strings  of  this  lyre  are  Carinthia,  Gorica, 
Istria,  Camiola,  Styria,  Croatia,  Slavonia,  Dalmatia,  Ragusa, 
Bosnia,  Montenegro,  Herzogovina,  Servia,  Bulgaria,  and  south- 
ern Hungary.  They  are  not  in  accord  with  one  another,  but  we 
wish  to  make  them  resound  harmoniously."     Illy r ism,  however, 



soon  encountered  violent  opposition ;  at  first  from  the  Hungarians, 
who  did  not  care  to  see  the  Slavs  escaping  from  their  hegemony, 
and  then  from  the  Servians,  who  feared  that  their  traditions  and 
hopes  would  be  absorbed  by  the  Croatians.  So  Illyrism  lost 
ground  little  by  little,  until  even  its  name  has  disappeared  to-day, 
though  there  still  remains  to  the  southern  Slavs  a  serious  sentiment 
of  their  literary  sohdarity.  The  movement  had  indeed  given  a  con- 
siderable impulse  to  mental  development,  and  a  poetical  school  ap- 
peared, less  brilliant  perhaps  than  that  of  Prague,  but  not  less 

Thus,  at  the  two  extremities  of  the  empire,  the  Slav  peoples 
were  awakening  and  ready  to  contend  against  the  Magyars  on 
the  one  hand,  and  against  the  Germans  on  the  other.  They  were 
again  claiming  their  place  in  the  world.  Separated  by  historical 
circumstances  and  geographical  situation,  they  were  acquiring  a 
consciousness  of  their  own  solidarity  and  developing  the  moral 
force  necessary  for  the  approaching  struggle. 

Chapter  XXVII 

LUTION.    1845-1848 

FRANCIS  II.  died  on  March  2,  1835,  much  regretted 
by  the  Viennese,  who  were  attached  to  him  through  his 
genial  characteristics  and  the  recollections  of  so  many  hard 
experiences.  In  the  provinces  the  rumor  was  current  that  he 
had  acquired  a  large  fortune,  and  that  he  had  left  it  to  his 
subjects.  The  people  awaited  with  impatience  the  opening  of  the 
will.  But  they  were  sadly  disappointed,  as  the  following  lines 
from  the  document  will  indicate :  "  I  avow  my  love  to  my  people. 
I  hope  that  I  may  be  able  to  pray  for  them ;  I  ask  of  them  to  show 
to  my  legitimate  successor  the  fidelity  and  devotion  which  they 
have  shown  to  me;  I  thank  all  the  functionaries  who  have  served 
me  well."  Louis  XIV.  could  scarcely  have  spoken  otherwise. 
The  successor  of  Francis  II.,  Ferdinand  L,  of  a  delicate  consti- 
tution and  subject  to  fits  of  epilepsy,  was  little  fitted  to  take  over 
the  heavy  heritage  of  the  monarchy.  Even  when  in  good  health 
his  mind  was  never  lucid  nor  was  his  will  firm.  The  simple  matter 
of  affixing  the  royal  signature  was  for  him  a  real  burden.  Con- 
sequently, Metternich,  whom  Francis  II.  had  recommended  to 
his  son  as  the  best  of  ministers,  retained  all  his  influence.  "  Touch 
nothing  at  the  base  of  the  political  edifice,  change  nothing.  Have 
full  confidence  in  Prince  Metternich,  my  best  friend  and  most  faith- 
ful of  servants.  Undertake  nothing  without  him."  Nevertheless 
Metternich  was  not  able  to  govern  entirely  in  the  place  of  the  real 
sovereign,  and  a  sort  of  regency  was  established,  consisting  of  the 
following  persons :  Clam  Martinitz,  the  emperor's  adjutant-general 
and  head  of  the  military  section  of  the  council  of  state;  Metter- 
nich, minister  of  foreign  affairs;  Kolovrat;  and  the  Archdukes 
Louis  and  Francis  Charles.  Their  meetings  constituted  the 
Staatsconferenz,  which  was  the  real  organ  of  executive  power. 
But    its   functions   were   never   very   well   defined.      Established 




in  order  to  govern  till  the  monarch  should  have  regained  his  health, 
it  always  had  more  or  less  of  a  provisional  character.  This  gov- 
ernment has  been  justly  reproached  with  entire  lack  of  unity 
and  an  unusual  insensibility  to  the  real  needs  of  the  Austrian 

A  number  of  liberal  measures,  however,  did  mark  the  open- 
ing of  the  reign.  An  amnesty  for  political  prisoners  followed  the 
accession,  a  consulship  was  established  in  Servia,  notwithstanding 
the  fact  that  the  young  principality  owed  its  existence  to  an  insur- 
rection against  the  legitimate  authority,  a  treaty  of  navigation  was 
concluded  with  Greece,  which  was  in  the  same  position,  and  diplo- 
matic relations  were  resumed  with  Portugal.  At  the  same  time 
the  cabinet  of  Vienna  extended  its  moral  support  to  the  Carlists 
in  Spain  and  sent  some  meager  subsidies.  The  alliance  of  the 
three  northern  powers  continued,  as  the  conduct  of  Austria  in 
Polish  affairs  sufficiently  attested. 

The  city  of  Cracow  had  been  erected  by  the  treaties  of  1815 
into  an  independent  republic.  It  had  become  the  center  of  plots 
and  conspiracies,  and  was  suspected  by  all  the  powers  who  had 
shared  in  the  spoliation  of  Poland.  In  1831  the  Russians  had 
occupied  the  territory  of  the  republic  in  order  to  deprive  the  insur- 
gents of  one  of  their  principal  bases  of  operation  and  source  of 
supplies.  But  they  had  to  evacuate  it  because  of  the  objections  of 
Austria,  and  the  city  continued  a  hot-bed  of  agitation  for  the 
refugees  of  the  Polish  revolution.  In  1836  the  three  powers  de- 
manded the  expulsion  of  all  persons  who  had  taken  part  in  the 
revolution  of  1830  and  decided  to  occupy  Cracow.  This  time  it 
was  Austria  who  undertook  to  police  the  republic,  notwithstand- 
ing the  protestations  of  England  and  France.  It  was  the  first  step 
toward  definitive  occupation. 

On  the  other  hand  Galicia  was  gradually  being  invaded  by 
the  ideas  of  the  patriotic  revival  and  of  a  national  revenge  which 
were  steadily  propagated  by  the  emigres.  It  was  a  difficult  matter 
to  oppose  this  general  movement,  which  enlisted  in  its  cause  the 
sympathies  of  liberal  Europe,  but  Austria  was  able  by  a  policy 
analagous  to  that  which  was  often  adopted  in  Hungary  to  find 
in  Polish  society  itself  the  means  of  paralyzing  the  revolutionary 
elements.  Harsher  even  than  the  Magyar  aristocracy,  the 
Polish  sznlachta  or  nobility  had  aroused  bitter  hatred  by  their 
treatment    of    the    ignorant    peasantry.     The    government    took 



pains  to  foment  this  class  hatred ;  it  opposed  the  agrarian  reforms ; 
it  had  imposed  upon  the  nobles  the  role  of  acting  as  recruiting 
agents  and  collectors  of  imposts,  while  it  gave  to  its  own  func- 
tionaries the  tutelary  role  of  redressing  abuses.  Nor  should  it 
be  forgotten  that  in  the  greater  part  of  Galicia  the  peasant  is  not 
Polish.  In  the  eastern  part  of  the  province  Ruthenians  constitute 
the  majority  of  the  population,  and  they,  even  more  than  Polish 
peasants,  had  been  made  to  suffer  at  the  hands  of  the  Galician 
magnates.  Adherents  of  the  Uniate  Greek  Church,  they  had  on 
more  than  one  occasion  to  groan  under  the  fanatic  persecution  of 
their  masters,  who  compelled  them  to  pay  for  the  privilege  of  wor- 
shiping in  their  churches  or  opened  them  to  the  Jews.  The  gov- 
ernor of  Galicia,  Stadion,  knew  of  these  grievances,  and  had  taken 
careful  note  of  them.  The  Polish  nobility  could  not  remain  ignorant 
of  the  claims  which  were  to  be  made  against  them.  In  the  diet,  in 
itself  anything  but  liberal,  which  met  from  time  to  time  at  Lem- 
berg,  the  demand  had  been  made  to  take  up  the  cause  of  the 
peasants  in  1843,  but  the  Austrian  government  cared  little  to  regu- 
late the  conflicts  out  of  which  grew  the  conditions  which  gave  it 
the  opportunity  to  keep  the  different  peoples  divided  and  thus  to 
rule  them. 

Nevertheless  a  Polish  insurrection  was  preparing  in  Galicia 
and  the  duchy  of  Posen.  On  February  28,  1846,  upon  the 
announcement  of  a  plot  at  Cracow,  the  Austrian  General  Collin 
occupied  that  city  with  about  a  thousand  men  and  three  can- 
non. For  two  days  the  city  seemed  tranquil,  but  on  the  third 
day  under  pressure  of  the  revolutionary  factions,  the  senate  and 
the  authorities  of  the  republic  resigned  and  the  Austrian  troops 
were  attacked  by  the  Poles  and  forced  to  beat  a  retreat.  Colonel 
Benedek  marched  up  from  Lemberg  and  with  the  aid  of  the 
peasants  defeated  the  revolutionary  committee  of  Cracow  and 
reoccupied  the  city  on  March  2.  Benedek,  the  "  falcon  of  the 
Vistula,"  then  commenced  a  career  which  was  to  end  in  failure 
at  Sadowa.  The  brief,  ephemeral  success  of  the  revolutionists  of 
Cracow  had  thrown  Vienna  into  a  state  of  terror;  the  police 
doubled  the  arrests  throughout  the  empire,  especially  in  Galicia. 
These  measures  suppressed  an  insurrection  which  would  doubt- 
less have  spread  rapidly  into  Russian  Poland.  The  peasants  not 
being  in  sympathy  with  their  lords  denounced  them  to  the  au- 
thorities  or   gave   them    up   themselves.     A    veritable    jacquerie 



broke  out.  Murder,  pillage,  and  incendiarism  raged,  particularly 
in  the  circle  of  Tarnow,  with  the  encouragement,  it  is  said,  of 
the  Austrian  government,  its  officers  actually  joining  the  bands. 
The  peasants  declared  that  they  pillaged  and  massacred  at  the 
emperor's  order.  A  personage  of  high  rank,  Ferdinand  d'Este, 
replied  to  the  wife  of  a  Pole  who  had  just  been  assassinated,  that 
the  death  of  her  husband  was  a  mistake,  that  it  was  her  brother's 
which  had  been  intended.  It  was  at  this  time  that  the  poet  Ujejski 
composed  the  hymn  "  Z  dymem  pozarow,"  which  is  to-day  a  classic 
in  Poland :  "  Amid  the  smoke  of  our  burning  homes,  and  the  blood 
of  our  brothers,  this  song  rises  to  Thee,  O  Lord.  'Tis  a  terrible 
cry  of  pity,  a  groan  out  of  the  infinite ;  prayers  that  cause  the  hair 
to  grow  white ;  the  crown  of  thorns  is  piercing  our  heads.  O  Lord ! 
O  Lord!  What  has  time  brought  us?  The  mother  is  killed  by 
her  son,  brother  has  killed  brother.  Among  us  are  many  Cains, 
but,  O  Lord,  they  are  innocent ;  other  demons  incite  and  urge  them 
on.  Punish,  oh,  punish,  the  execrable  hand  and  not  the  unwitting 

The  peasants  were  convinced  that  the  emperor  would  free 
them  from  all  obligations  toward  their  lords  as  a  reward  for  their 
devotion.  The  patent  of  April  13  granted  only  part  of  their 
expectations.  It  suppressed  compulsory  cartage  and  labor  during 
harvest;  and  authorized  the  peasants  to  bring  their  complaints 
directly  to  the  captains  of  the  circles. 

Meanwhile  the  city  of  Cracow  remained  in  the  hands  of  the 
Austrians.  Its  occupation  was  explained  to  the  foreign  powers 
as  a  temporary  measure  dictated  by  military  necessity.  The  Aus- 
trian troops,  it  was  urged,  were  sent  only  to  insure  the  establish- 
ment of  a  regular  government  in  the  little  republic.  Soon,  with 
the  consent  of  Prussia  and  Russia,  the  occupation  became  defini- 
tive, and  the  officials  of  the  districts  where  the  outrages  had  been 
most  violent  were  promoted.  The  protests  of  France  and  Eng- 
land were  of  no  avail.  This  acquisition  was  the  first  which 
Austria  had  made  since  the  Congress  of  Vienna.  The  new  terri- 
tory comprised  about  twenty-two  square  miles  and  160,000  in- 

The  annexation  of  Cracow  confirmed  once  again  the  solidarity 
of  the  three  powers  in  respect  to  the  partition  of  Poland.  Never- 
theless, in  regard  to  the  Eastern  Question,  during  Ferdinand's 
reign,  as  in  that  of  his  predecessor,  harmony  between  Russia  and 

FERDINAND    I  849 


Austria  was  maintained  only  with  much  difficulty.  The  Porte, 
weakened  by  the  triumphs  of  its  vassal,  Mehemet-Ali  of  Egypt,  got 
into  serious  difficulty  with  him  and  appealed  to  Europe.  Metter- 
nich  made  the  mistake  of  supporting  the  Sultan,  and  Vienna  became 
the  center  of  animated  conferences  in  which  he  induced  the  repre- 
sentatives of  the  Tsar  to  agree  to  a  collective  note  of  the  powers 
promising  the  support  of  Europe  to  the  Porte.  But  Tsar  Nicholas